The State Power Consumer Association will soon challenge the tariff hike implemented by state distribution company, Mahavitaran, which came into effect from Tuesday.
The consumer association’s chief, Pratap Hogade, said that Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (Merc) decision to allow Mahavitaran to recover dues of Rs 3,265 crore from its 1.80 crore consumers in the state over the next 12 months was “arbitrary” and anti-consumer.”
“The decision is illogical. It is akin to rewarding Mahavitaran for its inefficiency. The public hearings were a farce because Merc did not consider the views of consumer representatives,” said Hogade, adding that the submissions made by Mahavitaran were factually incorrect.
Hogade said they would now challenge the decision in the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity.
On Monday, Merc notified that Mahavitaran’s new tariff regime would be enforced from November 1.
The hike will not be uniform for all categories. The average hike across all categories will be 41 paise per unit, which will be implemented over the next 12 months.
Domestic consumers will pay anywhere between 8 and 74 paisa extra per unit consumed. Commercial consumers will pay anywhere between 78 and 81 paisa extra per unit consumed.
For industries, the hike will be between 49 and 60 paisa extra per unit consumed.
These extra charges will be in addition to what the Merc is expected to determine in the new tariff for the current financial year, for which a public hearing was held this month.
Mahavitaran is recovering the dues by asserting that it needed the financial boost to improve its credit-worthiness.
Commercial banks had refused the utility loans because of its financial liabilities of more than Rs5,000 crore.