The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday did not grant any stay on power tariff hike made by Haryana earlier this year.
The petitioner, during the resumed hearing, had sought a stay on the August 2015 notification hiking tariff stating that state government as well as several other parties failed to file their responses on October 19 public interest litigation (PIL). However, the bench headed by Justice S.K. Mittal made it clear that it would not grant stay without hearing respondents.
Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) through an affidavit filed before the bench justified the power tariff hike. It told the high court that Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses were reason for the hike. The bench was also informed that the theft of the electricity was not the only reason and there were other reasons also in AT&C losses which were more than 22 percent in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
As of theft the court was told that highest number of thefts in southern Haryana were recorded in Hisar with 1,276 cases till June 2015, followed by Bhiwani 963 cases and Faridabad 865 cases in southern Haryana catered by DHBVN.
The court was told that a total of 5,467 cases were detected and in most cases FIRs had been registered.
The PIL had sought rollback of power tariff hike and recover unpaid dues from defaulters. Petitioner Kartar Singh told the court that a 15% tariff hike was affected instead of making recoveries of thousands of crores of rupees from defaulters.
Referring to the affidavit filed by DHBVN, Dadri had recorded the highest rate of line losses at 74.51 percent.
In August, the power distribution companies had notified the consumers that for the first quarter of the year 2015-16, five paisa per unit fuel surcharge would be recovered from the consumers in certain categories. Later, it was revised to three paisa per unit.