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  Court moved against hike in power tariff


PESHAWAR, June 10: The Human Rights Commission South Asia on Friday moved the Peshawar High Court challenging the recent increase in power tariff by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) for Pesco consumers stating that the authority lacked jurisdiction to determine the tariff for the province.


In this regard a writ petition was filed by the commission through its correspondent for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Advocate Abdus Samad Marwat, requesting the court to hold that all the tariff determination by Nepra till date were illegal, unlawful, without jurisdiction and thus of no legal effect upon the rights of the 1.7 million consumers of electricity in the province.

The petitioner stated that tariff determination for distribution of electricity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was within the powers and authority of the provincial government and Nepra had no jurisdiction in this regard.

The petitioner also prayed the court that till final disposal of the writ petition the operation of the impugned new tariff increase vide an SRO on May 17, 2011, may be suspended.

The respondents in the petition are: Nepra; registrar of Nepra; Pesco through its chief executive office; federation of Pakistan through secretary Cabinet Division; secretary, ministry of water and power; and the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through secretary finance.

The petitioner stated that the new tariff increase determination by Nepra for Pesco consumers to the tune of Rs1.0062 per KWH vide an SRO and previous increase and its implementation through Pesco were illegal.

It is stated that more than 5,000MW electricity is generated from hydel power facilities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its approximate consumption is 1,700MW.

It was added that keeping in view the ground realities, it was incumbent upon Nepra to supply the required electricity to Pesco, which would end load shedding.

The petitioner stated that it was extremely brutal to impose upon the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa further increase in tariff when the province was providing hydel electricity at the lowest rate of Rs1.01 per unit to Central Power Purchase Agency (CPPA) and buying the same back at an average of almost Rs10 per unit from Pesco.

It was contended that there was no Wapda thermal generation or IPP unit in the province and only the hydel generation electricity was supplied by Pesco, therefore, imposition of fuel adjustment charge on the people of this province was unjust and unconstitutional.

Baloch stated that though the family members of missing people were also under threat they were determined to continuing their protest. He also appealed to European Union, United Nations to pay heed to the violation of human rights in Balochistan.