Taking suo motu cognizance of several petitions from suburban consumers against Tata Power Company, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has made the utility a respondent and asked for an explanation regarding customers' grievances.
Sources in MERC said that the regulator has got 48 representations from individual consumers, politicians from leading parties and various consumers groups over the past few months. Industry sources said that complaints pertain to issues like universal service obligations (USO), in which every consumer - big or small - is entitled to affordable supply, especially from Tata, which started catering to suburban domestic consumers three years ago. Tata Power has bagged lakhs of consumers from other companies such as Reliance Infrastructure since. TPC said vested interests were at play regarding the petitions. "We suggest that all customers interested in Tata Power services walk into the nearest Tata Power customer care centre to complete the documentation. And we will arrange to change them over in next seven days, subject to the existing distributor's clearance."
"We thank Vested Interest Parties for having mobilised the customer shift to Tata Power. We welcome all customers, whose letters have been made to reach MERC to join Tata Power services," said a company statement on Monday.
The Commission will hear all parties on February 1. The notice dated January 14, MERC says, "The Commission is of the opinion that in view of the circumstances, it is necessary and expedient to hear the Tata Power Company Limited on any explanation that it desires to offer on these written explanations."
The notice also says, "If Tata Power Company wishes to offer any explanation in writing, the same may be filed under an affidavit at least one week prior to the date of hearing."