The state government has assured power consumers in Mumbai that it will work towards introducing a uniform power tariff.
Energy Minister Ajit Pawar told the legislative assembly on Wednesday that his department would study the New Delhi pattern where seven different companies provide power at uniform rates.
According to the Delhi model, each of the three power companies were supplied power by a government-owned company at different rates in a way that the final retail tariff turned out to be identical in spite of differences in the companies’ losses, and other expenses.
The power purchase agreements for all the power sources were vested in Delhi Transco Limited.
Mumbai gets its supply from different companies.
The Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport undertaking supplies power to 9.5 lakh consumers in the island city, Reliance Infrastructure supplies to over 26 lakh consumers to the western suburbs and state-owned Mahavitaran caters to 1.5 crore consumers in the eastern suburbs like Mulund and Bhandup and the rest of Maharashtra.
Tata Power Company supplies to an estimated 40,000 bulk consumers and recently started supplying to domestic consumers as well.
The city has witnessed several protests over tariff this year, especially against Reliance Infrastructure that has highest rates among all utilities.
Reliance Infrastructure had earlier this year asked the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) to apply a uniform tariff in the city but its plea was rejected saying that the cost of supply depended on various factors like the cost of power procured, distribution losses and operational and capital expenditure.
MERC said that the government would take a final call on this.
An energy expert, who did not want to be named because the matter related to the legislature, said that Delhi was different from Mumbai, and its uniform tariff is unsustainable.
“Attempts to follow Delhi’s footsteps will only undo Mumbai’s well regulated and rigorously determined tariff structure which is in conformity with the Electricity Act, 2003,” the expert said.
Objectives like promotion of efficiency, protection of consumer interest and promotion of competition will be defeated by having uniform tariffs, he added.
Pawar, meanwhile, said the state would check unjustified tariff hikes in future.