THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Summer is yet to turn ferocious, but the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has already begun to feel the pinch financially.
Soaring power demand and the consequent power purchases being made to avert power restrictions are pushing the KSEB deeper into crisis. It’s monthly revenue deficit has touched `80 crore, and is expected to rise further in the months ahead.
Already, around 90 per cent of the daily demand is being met through power imports, which is having a crippling effect on finances. The latest blow has come in the form of a delay in declaring the revised electricity tariffs.
Although the State Electricity Regulatory Commission was to have revised the tariffs this month, a court case has forced it to put off the revision. The revised tariffs, despite the fact that the KSEB did not demand it, would have brought some financial relief, officials said.
“Accumulated losses of the KSEB is nearing `7000 crore. We have informed the commission of the situation. Monthly cash deficit now stands at `80 crore and it will go up,” KSEB director (finance) N S Pillai said.
With demand soaring, the KSEB will be forced to pump in more money for power purchases to avert loadsheddings and power cuts.
From 60-65 MU, daily demand is expected to touch the 85 MU mark at the height of the summer season. Internal hydro generation accounts for only a fraction of the volume of electricity sold in the state. (Hydel power accounted for just 7 per cent of the total power supplied on Sunday).
To top it, the KSEB is owed a mammoth sum in electricity bill arrears by its high-end consumers. The Kerala Water Authority (KWA), the single biggest defaulter, alone owes the KSEB approximately `1400 crore, and no step is being taken to settle it.