The state-owned power distribution company, Mahavitaran, and the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) are at loggerheads once again.
The commission had asked Mahavitaran on Wednesday to recover the cost of power, Rs93 crore, from consumers, who enjoy uninterrupted power supply in the city. The commission’s order would have inflated power bills of those living in zero power cut areas — Kanjurmarg, Bhandup, Mulund, Thane, Navi Mumbai and five other divisional headquarters.
Consumers in these areas and a few other places enjoy uninterrupted power at an extra cost, and as such consumers should be made to pay more, the commission had ruled. The commission said power supplied to these areas could otherwise have been used to reduce power cuts in affected areas.
But a day later, Mahavitaran rejected the commission’s directive and instead sought a review of the said order. These consumers, who have been paying more for uninterrupted power supply, would be paying even more if the company followed the commission’s directive, Mahavitaran contended.
“A detailed clarification/statement given to the MERC about the contracted power in full for zero power cut was not taken into notice for the reason best known to the commission,” said a statement issued by the Mahavitaran on Thursday.
The company said that it did not know as to from where this amount (Rs93 crore) is to be recovered through fuel adjustment charges.
“The amount has not been spent for power procurement and hence the same cannot be recovered and refunded.”
The state-owned power distribution company had earlier slammed the commission for miscalculating its revenue requirements, which when corrected, inflated the bills of its consumers.
Mahavitaran is now fighting a battle over granting open access — permission to buy bulk power from other utilities —without paying cross subsidy surcharge. Meanwhile, deputy chief minister and state energy minister Ajit Pawar, who is also the political head of the company, has slammed the commission at many occasions.