In a first-of-its-kind effort, power consumers in the industrial, manufacturing, agriculture and domestic sectors have decided to come together under an umbrella organisation to fight stiff tariff hikes and the electricity sector’s apathy in implementing pro-consumer laws.
Maharashtra is one of the states that charges industrial consumers heavily for power and as a result, industries have either shifted to neighbouring states or scaled down power consumption. In Mumbai, the domestic tariff charged by some companies is the highest in the country. The demand-supply scenario, except in Mumbai, is still pathetic because of a daily shortfall of around 3,000 mega watts, which increases by more than 1,000 MW in the summer.
In view of this, various consumers associations in the state met in Nashik early this week. The Nashik Industrial and Manufactures Association (NIMA) hosted the conference. Chief of Maharashtra Power Consumer Association, Pratap Hogade, chaired the conference while power experts Ashok Pendse and Shantanu Dixit briefed delegates from across the state on consumer issues.
Hogade has been fighting several cases before the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), apex regulatory and appellate authorities. Pendse, a Mumbai resident and an industrial expert and Dixit of Prayas Energy Group in Pune, are among the MERC-approved representatives, who submit their views before the commission.
According to the Nashik resolution, a coordination committee comprising representatives from all consumer associations will be formed.