From now on, the employees of Maharashtra Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) will be held responsible for distribution losses and the revenue loss will be recovered from them.
As transmission and distribution (T&D) losses are a major concern for Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), it is dealing the menace with a strict hand. It has blamed the MSEDCL for failing to curb the menace.
The losses are mostly due to bad maintenance of distribution network. Power thefts in connivance with employees also account for major financial losses.
The MSEDCL and Home Department has set up some police stations to tackle thefts. But it failed to check losses.
Hence, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has directed the state utility to take proper action against erring employees who are directly responsible for losses and also reward those making sincere efforts to reduce losses.
MSEDCL official spokesperson said that the company was able to reduce the losses to 28 per cent.
The commission is not ready to accept this claim of reducing the losses to 28 per cent from around 40 per cent. It said that it has independently calculated the loss at 36 per cent - one of the highest in country.
The Electricity Act that came into existence about three years ago, has mandated all companies to reduce losses. But consumers have complained that it has failed.
During MERC hearings held recently, they demanded that the employees be held responsible.
The MSEDCL had argued that it would face labour-related problems if losses were recovered from the employees. But MERC didn't buy the argument and asked the utility to submit both "reward" and "punishment" schemes.
The schemes would be approved after another hearing. MSEDCL sources said plans will be soon submitted to the MERC.