Shimla: Industry in Himachal Pradesh, that has till now been enjoying very cheap power, may soon have to gulp some bitter pills as Himachal Pradesh Electricity Board (HPSEB) is thinking of imposing a surcharge of one rupee per unit on industrial units during winter months. The step is being worked out as the Board is being forced to purchase power at enhanced rates from outside sources during winter months as electricity production in the state falls in winters.
HPSEB has filed a petition in the Himachal Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission seeking sanction for imposition of winter surcharge from November to March. A HPSEB spokesperson said the winter surcharge has been mooted to meet the financial burden incurred in purchasing power from the Northern Grid in winter months at a higher price to deal with power shortage due to reduced production following snowfall and extreme cold condition.
The Board has also recommended treatment of hotels in Lahaul and Spiti as seasonal establishment due to opening of Rohtang and Kunsum passes during summer
season only. As per the proposal, the hoteliers of Lahaul-Spiti will be asked to pay the demand charge for summer months only instead of paying for the whole year.