State-owned power distribution company Mahavitaran has intensified its battle with the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC). On Wednesday, the company asked whether the commission conspired to facilitate the backdoor entry of private players in the government utility.
Mahavitaran managing director Ajoy Mehta, a senior bureaucrat, represented the company at a technical validation session for allowing it to recover a revenue deficit of Rs5,100 crore. The company will utilize this money to buy power, carry out development works and manage establishment costs.
Mahavitaran feared that it would be forced to enforce power cuts across the state (including parts of Mumbai) if it did not improve its finances at the earliest.
Mahavitaran has confronted the MERC on several occasions in the past. Energy minister Ajit Pawar has also expressed his displeasure over the functioning of the commission.
Mehta posed a question on the entry of private players (in Mahavitaran) when the commission asked him whether the company planned to list it in the share market. Mehta said that the MERC did not have legal right to make inquiries on company’s listing plans. Then he questioned why the commission, in view of social obligation, did not ensure the 51% state equity in all the private power companies. Mehta accused the commission of treating Mahavitaran with bias and favouring profit-making private players in determining tariff and other directives.
The bureaucrat objected to commission’s time-consuming procedures. He wondered why MERC consultants insisted on verifying Mahavitaran accounts again. He doubted whether the commission and its consultants prolonged the procedure to weaken Mahavitaran financially. MERC chairman VP Raja did not comment.