The Congress government in Karnataka and opposition BJP are passing the buck on each other as people expressed outrage over inflated electricity bills.

Former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday stated in Shiggaon city that power tariff was not raised during his tenure. However, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah claimed that power tariff was raised during the BJP government in the state.

Talking to reporters, Bommai stated that the power tariff was not hiked during the BJP government's tenure. "The KERC is a statutory body. Though it proposed a hike in power tariff in March, we had not agreed. We had not increased power tariff. Electricity fare has been raised after the Congress government came to power," Bommai claimed.

BESCOMBESCOM official website

"The power tariff has been increased in April. This is a huge burden. The power sector is going to face a crisis in the coming days. The transport and power sector should be granted funds, it won't work if subsidies are given after a year," he said.

"If power and transport sectors are not given funds and managed efficiently, the buses will stop plying and there will be no power," Bommai added.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had claimed on Sunday that as per the recommendation of the previous BJP government, the electricity tariff has been increased. "However,the BJP is spreading lies that we have increased the electricity rates," Siddaramaiah claimed.

Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) revised the power tariff on May 12. According to KERC order, power tariff was revised to average 70 paise per unit for all household connections in the state and the order was given retrospective effect from April, 2023 consumption.

electricity supply
Electricity supplyIANS

Due to the revision of the tariff, an enhanced average 70 paise per unit will be collected in June bills, said Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) Managing Director Mahantesh Bilagi. "We have been forced to implement this order," he said.

Since this order was passed with retrospective basis from April 1, 2023, arrears will be collected in the June bill. The KERC also ordered for fixation of tariff in two slabs. According to the order, for consumption of the first 100 units, the revised energy charge is Rs 4.75 per unit and if consumption crosses 100 units, the energy charge is Rs 7 per unit. The consumer has to pay a flat Rs 7 per unit if consumption crosses 100 units.

Before tariff revision, energy charges were fixed in three slabs. According to earlier energy charges, for consumption of the first 50 Units, the energy charge was Rs 4.15 per unit, for consumption of another 50 units, the energy charge was Rs 5.6 per unit and for consumption beyond 100 units, energy charges were fixed at Rs 7.15 per unit, Bilagi said.

The KERC also revised fixed charges. For 1 to 50 KW sanctioned load, the fixed charge is Rs 110 and above 50 KW sanctioned load, fixed charge will be Rs 210. According to Tariff Regulation Notification 2006 of KERC, all ESCOMs should file applications for seeking revision of tariff in the month of November every year.

Infuriated with power tariff hike, many across the state are challenging authorities that they won't pay the electricity bill, come what may.

People who used to get Rs 800 bill will now have to pay up to Rs 2,400.

The situation is proving to be a roadblock for the Congress government which wants to get maximum mileage out of the Griha Jyothi scheme under which it is providing free 200 units of power to all households.