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BEST may hike tariff

mumbai Updated: Oct 09, 2010 02:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Next year, 9 lakh Mumbaiities from the island city may have to pay more for electricity. The BEST intends to increase the per unit cost on power tariffs in 2011-12 in order to recover losses to the tune of Rs 220.75 crore they claim to have incurred after the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) reduced tariffs by around 40 paise for 2010-11.

“This is the first time that BEST is facing losses in its supply division due to the current tariff structure. Now, we have proposed the same tariff structure that existed in 2009-10,” said OP Gupta, general manager, BEST.

These changes would be submitted to MERC, which will study them before approving the changes either partly or fully. As per their calculations, the BEST would earn around Rs 226 crore, giving them a surplus of Rs 5.25 crore after recovering losses.

Presently, the island city pays less for power than those in the suburbs. The charge for those consuming between 101-300 units is Rs 3.30 per unit, while the per unit charge for using up to 500 units is Rs 5.50. The BEST intends to bring back the tariff structure of 2009-10, where per unit charge for consuming 101-300 units was Rs 3.70, while the per unit charge for using up to 500 units

was Rs 5.90. Meanwhile, their transport department, too, is expected to face losses of around Rs 295.38 crore in 2011-12. They intend to make up for the loss by giving part of the property at bus depots and bus stations (near railway stations) for commercial use. They have already started developing six depots and five bus stations for the purpose.

“We expect to recover around Rs 160 crore post-hike in bus fares this year,” said Sanjay Potnis, chairman, BEST Committee. Meanwhile, the losses of the transport division have come down by Rs 60 crore. It was around Rs 353 crore in 2009-10.

Nearly 45 lakh commuters travel on BEST buses every day. The BEST would also be making capital expenditure of Rs 237 crore for new transformers, cable lines and connections, Rs 27 crore for new buses, Rs 13 crore in civil works and another Rs 8 crore for sundry expenses.