Hyderabad: Despite reduction in the unit cost, SC Railway has decided to purchase power through the open access system. South Central Railway (SCR) general manager Vinod Kumar Yadav held discussions with energy department special chief secretary Ajay Misra and TS Transco chairman and managing director D. Prabhakar Rao at Vidyut Soudha on Thursday.
Mr Yadav asked for permission to purchase power in the open access system. Special chief secretary Ajay Misra and Transco CMD Prabhakar Rao informed Mr Yadav that in the electricity department, everything has to be decided by the TS Electricity Regulatory Commission (ERC). They asked him to send a letter to ERC with a request to purchase power in the open access system. They also told him to send a similar letter to Transco and that they would send one to ERC.
In the recent tariff order, ERC has reduced the unit cost from Rs 7.10 to Rs 4.05 for the railways. After adding demand charges and wheeling charges the cost per unit will come to around `6.
In several states, the Indian Railways is availing power through the open access system from Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Ltd (RGPPL). The rate is Rs 4.70 per unit in TS southern power distribution company and Rs 5.50 in TS northern power distribution company.
Earlier, SCR told ERC that they are planning to procure power through open access in Telangana state. SCR has requested the ERC to reduce the power tariff, considering that the railways are a public utility with the characteristics of base load, high power factor and bulk consumption.
They want approval of a rebate of at least 10% of energy charges to give impetus to electrification of the railway network. According to officials, South Central railway requires about 1000 MU per year in Telangana.
Meanwhile, the Special Chief Secretary of the Energy department Ajay Misra said that they have had discussions about the open access system for power purchase by SC Railways. Speaking to this newspaper, he said that they have suggested to the Railways to write a letter to ERC requesting permission to purchase power in the ‘pen access’ system. He said that when it comes to this issue, ERC has to take a final decision.