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Congress faces a different ‘power’ crisis in Karnataka

Demanding the government to rollback its decision to increase power charges, traders, small and medium scale industrialists and others staged protests across Karnataka

Published Date – 08:20 PM, Thu – 22 June 23


Congress faces a different ‘power’ crisis in Karnataka



Hyderabad: The Congress is back in power in Karnataka and so is a power crisis. Industries, traders and commercial establishments observed a day-long bandh on Thursday in protest against the State government’s move to increase the power tariff.

Demanding the government to rollback its decision to increase power charges, traders, small and medium scale industrialists, commercial establishments’ owners and others staged protests across the State. The CPM has also extended support to the strike.

On May 12, Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission approved an increase of 70 paise per unit. This had triggered verbal duels between the ruling Congress and opposition BJP with the saffron party leaders accusing the Congress of increasing the tariff to fulfill its poll promise of free electricity of up to 200 units for domestic connections under the Gruha Jyoti Scheme.

However, the move to increase the power charges has not gone well with industrial organisations or traders. The Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) called for a bandh demanding the Congress government to rollback of the power tariff hike.

Holding banners, posters and placards, traders and industrialists took out rallies in Hubballi-Dharwad, Shivamogga, Belagavi, Ballari, Vijayanagar and other places. KCCI president Vinay Javali had said that business establishments would incur losses due to the bandh but it was inevitable. Industries may not survive with such an unprecedented increase in power tariff, he said.

“This bandh is in protest of abnormal price hike in the Electricity charges by ESCOM’s. For the last eight days, we have made attempts to convey the seriousness of the impact of the hike in electricity charges. However, no solution is forthcoming from the Officials or government representatives,” a statement from KCCI said, according to reports.

In Belagavi, a city bordering Maharashtra, a protestor reportedly alleged that a few industries were planning to relocate to the neighbouring State due to the drastic increase in tariff and increasing production costs.

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