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Dec 14, 2012 at 08:26am IST

AP: Residents get a power jolt as fuel surcharge doubles electricity bills

Hyderabad: It is a nightmare for Andhra Pradesh residents who are puzzled why they are being charged double this month for the same amount of power consumption as the last. The consumers are upset after the state government's decision to levy a fuel surcharge on electricity which is pushing up electricity bills.

The government has decided to tax the citizens with a the fuel surcharge adjustment of Rs 1.32 per unit - thanks to the acute power crisis in the state. It's not a decision the public is happy with. Hyderabad resident Rahul Polavarapu said, "We don't know what to expect in the next bill. Ordinary citizens with a fixed monthly income can't cope like this. The government should have thought of this in a better way."

Discoms have been allowed to continue the fuel surcharge until dues from way back in 2008 are recovered. Understandably, industries too are upset. Together they will have to shell out almost Rs 250 crore per month as just the FSA component. About 200 steel units are now threatening shutdown.

But the government says it has no choice. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy said, "We are having to buy power from other states, it will increase the rates." As the state continues to face a 50 million unit power deficit each day, industries say their production is hit by almost 40-60 per cent.

While rising power bills burn a hole in the aam aadmi's pocket, experts raise questions if this crisis could have been averted by better foresight from the government and more efficient implementation of power projects in the state.