Despite opposition, island city hotels may get cheaper power from Tata | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Despite opposition, island city hotels may get cheaper power from Tata

Hoteliers and other consumers in the island city are likely to get cheaper power from Tata Power Company. This, despite opposition from their existing supplier, Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking, reports Dharmendra Jore.

mumbai Updated: Jan 25, 2010 01:16 IST
Dharmendra Jore

Hoteliers and other consumers in the island city are likely to get cheaper power from Tata Power Company.

This, despite opposition from their existing supplier, Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking.

Under the Electricity Act 2003, any consumer can select a supplier of his choice. Using this provision, several suburban consumers, who earlier got their supply from Reliance, are now getting cheaper power from Tatas.

Convinced with the benefits of competition, Maharashtra Electricity

Regulatory Commission (MERC) is likely to invoke legal provisions to force BEST to fall in line as several consumers have approached it for justice.

Eateries affiliated to the Association of Hoteliers and Restaurants (AHAR) applied for switching over, but Tata showed its helplessness because BEST refused to grant them permission to use its network. Laying down separate network would unwarrantedly cause hike in the capital expenditure of Tata and hence it would burden consumers through tariffs.

And if hoteliers get Tata power through BEST network, they will save 29 per cent to 88 per cent in their monthly power bills. In fact, Tata supply is the cheapest in Mumbai and its suburbs.

When an aggrieved AHAR approached Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), the regulator admitted its plea. Seven other petitioners have submitted similar grievances.

The associations demanded that Tata’s distribution licence be scrapped.

MERC has admitted the petition and sources close to the Commission said that it would invoke Section 60 of the Electricity Act, which bars any company (here BEST) from using its dominant position or enters into a combination which is likely to cause or causes an adverse effect on competition in the electricity industry.

All the parties concerned refused to speak because the matter is pending with MERC which will hear the plea very soon.

The date for the hearing is yet to be given by the commission.

Meanwhile, it may be noted that Tata Power is the cheapest power supplier in Mumbai. It is in the wake of this fact that AHAR desires to have a smooth switchover like in the suburbs.