L&T Hyderabad Metro rail seeks Power Tariff under Special Consumer Category

Hyderabad (HYD): After seeking several concessions and exemptions, including property tax waiver, from the state government, metro rail developer Larsen and Toubro Metro Rail Hyderabad Limited (L&TMRHL) wants power tariff under the special consumer category. If the project gets such a status, the metro rail will get power supply at tariff less than commercial and industrial rates.

During the recent Special Task Force meeting of Hyderabad Metro Rail Project, the L&T authorities insisted that the state government abide by the clause in the concession agreement and treat them as special consumer category on the lines of Delhi Metro Rail and Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation. The L&TMRHL authorities have reportedly complained that while the government had assured to give them special consumer status, the Central Power Distribution Company Limited (CPDCL) was opposing the same. If the power tariff is not levied under special consumer category, the project developer plans to pass on the burden to customers by demanding ticket fare hike.

As of now, the CPDCL has been considering the metro rail project under HT-III, in which all railway stations, airports and bus stations are covered. In the aggregate revenue requirement (ARR) and tariff petition for the 2014-15 to 2018-19 and retail business for 2014-15, CPDCL has allocated HT-III category to the metro rail project and the tariff would be about Rs 5.24 to Rs 6.10 per unit. For railway traction under HT-V category, the charges are about Rs 5.88 per unit. The CPDCL has also proposed Re.1 surcharge on power consumption for time of day (ToD) between 6 pm and 10 pm, as mass transport should run additional services during the peak hours.

The L&T officials claim that the cost of electricity works out to about 25 to 35% of operational and maintenance cost of the metro rail system

. The annual energy consumption has been assessed to be about 80 million units in the initial years and it might double by 2021. It should be no profit and no loss basis, which comes to about Rs 2.50 to Rs 3 per unit as in Delhi metro.

“The rates fixed for the project are against the commitment in the Concession Agreement. As per Article 6.4 of the agreement, it is the responsibility of the government that the tariff determined is such that the metro rail is not required to subsidise or all such segments of consumers,” L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad chief executive and MD V B Gadgil told media.

Sources in HMR said unlike other infrastructure companies, LTMRHL maintains and operate substations. The project developer would install substations at various locations on the three corridors in proximity to the metro rail system.

CPDCL authorities said the tariff being collected for HT-III for higher voltage level was lower than that the lower voltage level and the metro project would get the benefit of low tariff if operating at higher voltages. The general tariff for the metro rail under HT-III is less than the HT-II category and the overall tariff for metro rail HT-V traction charges would also be less compared to other categories.

When contacted, CPDCL director (commercial and operations) G Raghuma Reddy said APERC would take a decision on according special consumer status.