Bokaro plot holders up in arms against hike in electricity charges

Ashis Sinha I Bokaro: Over hundreds of plot holders of the township area of Bokaro Steel City united to protest against the increase in per-unit rate and fixed charges of electricity by Bokaro Steel Plant management.

Irked plot holders held a meeting under the banner of Bokaro Commercial Plot Holders Association. Opposing the proposal of hike in charges, members accused Bokaro Steel Plant management for their alienated attitude towards the plot holders, as the plot holders are already charged many times more in terms of fixed charge only, which put them in trouble.

As the fixed charge has been imposed on the plot holders, the association threatens to protest before the concerned officials on 4 December, said Rajender Vishwakarma, President of Bokaro Commercial Plot Holders Association.

He said, the increase in electricity charges (per unit and fixed charges) is not justified.  “Violating the Jharkhand Electricity Regulatory Commission’s decisions, Bokaro Steel Plant management is charging electricity bills at commercial rates from the residential plot holders,” he added.

Presently, the domestic rate of electricity in Bokaro township area is Rs 3.25 per kilowatt, and the fixed charges are Rs 80 for each connection per month while BSL is recovering the charges as Rs 5.70 per kilowatt along with fixed charges as Rs 140 per kilowatt per month, burdening the plot holders from Rs 1000 to 10 thousand per months, he said.

There are around 1100 plot holders in the township area, and we are paying on an average of Rs 25 lakhs per month additional as electricity bill to the management, said RK Sharma, a plot holder.

The plot holders have to bear a heavy financial burden every month, said Sharma adding, “Management aims to collect money from plot holders in a new way.”

The plots we have are residential cum commercial, but management charges electricity bills at commercial rates. Earlier, we had several round talks with the management on the issue. We have demanded installing separate electric meters for residential and commercial units (as per order by Jharkhand Electricity Regulatory Commission in 2012-13). Still, management did not pay any heed to our issue, said Anil Singh, a plot holder.

“The dogma of management is driving businessmen on the path of migration,” added Singh.

Few plot holders alleged that BSL management is allowed more than three times load beyond the power supply cables’ safe limit to the plots. The transformer installed is compatible with 250-kilowatt loads while 1,000 kilowatt loads are allowed instead of the transformer’s safe limits, which is prone to a massive fire accident anytime.

Meanwhile, trying to contact the officials, nobody was ready to respond to the issue.


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