Odisha News Insight

Little Impact of 12-Hour Shutdown over Power Tariff in Odisha

Power-Tariff-ProtestThe Bidyut Upabhokta Mahasangh (Power Consumers’ Federation) held a 12-hour shutdown across the state, demanding rollback of power tariff hike announced by the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC). It also demanded an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of accounts of power distribution companies in the state.

The  impact was low in the state, as opposition parties did not deploy their cadres with full force during the shutdown. However, all the labour unions have supported the shutdown and participated in demonstrations at government offices, particularly power offices on Tuesday. At some places commuters faced problem due to the demonstrations by various groups on road. But, the bandh called by Mahasangh was a ‘flop-show’ in Odisha.

While bus services remained off at some routes, the vehicular movement was largely normal and shops and business establishments were open throughout the day. “The hike in power tariff should be withdrawn immediately in the interest of common man and farmers in the state,” said Panchanan Kanungo, Bidyut Upabhokta Mahasangh president. About 100 protesters were arrested during the picketing in Bhubaneswar, police said.

Power-Tariff-OdishaOpposition parties, including the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), have extended their support to the shutdown, but their cadres did not participate wholeheartedly.

The Odisha government has announced it would file a review petition before the OERC seeking rollback of the proposed power tariff hike for the agriculture sector. The announcement was made by Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das in the Assembly on Monday.

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