Discoms Seek Revision, DMRC Says Commuters To Bear Cost
New Delhi: Commuting by Delhi Metro could get costlier if a proposal to hike the power tariff for Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is accepted. The proposal, which is still being examined by Delhi Regulatory Commission (DERC), comes after the discoms sought a hike in tariff. Delhi Metro, which made a case to DERC earlier last month, has clearly said in its presentation that any further increase in tariff cannot be absorbed by DMRC without an increase in the fare which, it admits, will burden commuters.
At present, Delhi Metro pays Rs 6.05 per unit, besides “fixed” charges. As part of the “time of day” (TOD) metering, DMRC also pays a higher tariff for using power at certain hours of the day, which are usually the peak hours.
Says Sharat Sharma, director (operations), at Delhi Metro: “The maximum energy usage by Delhi Metro is during the hours defined as peak by the discoms. The TOD tariff has resulted in an additional burden. Since Delhi Metro is a passenger service, we cannot curtail energy usage during peak commuter travelling hours.” According to Sharma, energy consumption in the past two years has been 41.34 per cent but the expenditure on power has gone up by 140 per cent during that time. “A further power tariff hike will have a detrimental impact on our operational costs. Already, power accounts for 40 per cent of our operational costs. If this goes up further, we will have to cut down on other services,” said Sharma.
Last year, DMRC had asked the Centre for a hike in fares, citing increasing operational costs. However, the committee on fare hike is yet to be set up. If a fare hike is not implemented now, Delhi Metro could be forced to look at a subsidy from the government to pay back its loans, say officials.
“The loan from JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) is paid from the operational revenue collected by Delhi Metro at present. If this goes down, then subsidies would have to be considered to bail out Delhi Metro,” admits Sharma.
Adding to the DMRC’s woes is the talk of a reliability charge by the discoms. While the hikes proposed range from 1.61-20 per cent, the reliability charge is for supplying uninterrupted power, according to the proposal. This, says Delhi Metro, would be blatantly unfair.
“Reliability is a factor introduced through our systems which have been put in place. The fact is that in the financial year 2012-13, there were numerous instances of tripping, which resulted in a loss of power for 36 hours,” says Sharma. Interestingly, compared to UP and Haryana, Delhi power unit costs the most. Per unit prices in the neighbouring states are Rs 5 and Rs 5.60 per unit, respectively.
Discoms demanding tariff revision for Delhi Metro The hikes range from 1.61-20%
Discoms also want a reliability charge for supplying uninterrupted power
DMRC says hike in power tariff will result in increase in operational costs Energy or power costs already account for 40% of operational costs According to officials, any further increase in tariff cannot be sustained by DMRC without hike in fare structure which will burden commuters Delhi Metro’s increase in power consumption in last two years has been around 41.34%’
Yet expenditure on power has gone up by 140%
The reason is the last two consecutive power tariff hikes as well as the introduction of the ‘time of day’
The latter is tariff based on peak and non-peak hours
Compared to UP and Haryana, the Delhi power unit costs more
On reliability charges, DMRC says power is made stable due to back-up services of Metro
It cites the number of trips by each discom which accounted for loss of power of 36 hours in FY 2012-13
Source: Times of India