State power distribution company Mahavitaran and the Maharashtra Energy Regulatory Commission (MERC) have once again locked horns, and the city’s residents may have to pay the price.
Power woes in the eastern suburbs and satellite towns are expected to intensify, because Mahavitaran, which supplies power to them, has threatened to stop buying power for distribution from October 10.
Mahavitaran on Tuesday claimed that the reason was that it did not have money to purchase power.
Suburbs like Kanjur Marg, Bhandup Mulund, thickly populated satellite towns Thane, Navi Mumbai and Kalyan-Dombivli, as well as many parts of the state, are already facing power cuts for between three to ten hours a day, because of shortage of fuel in the state’s generation stations.
On Tuesday, the deficit for the Mahavitaran areas, with 1.90 crore consumers, was almost 4,000 mega watts, whereas the demand was 16,500 MW.
Other parts of Mumbai remained unaffected, as distribution companies that cater to them had adequate supply.
Mahavitaran — which buys power from state generation company Mahagenco, Ratnagiri power station (Dabhol) and the central pool —blamed the crisis on MERC.
“On September 28, the commission dismissed our plea for interim relief in the case of recovery of deficit of Rs5, 097 crore that we have suffered because of MERC’s delaying tactics, over the past three years. It may lead to the complete collapse of the company,” said a senior Mahavitaran executive, on condition of anonymity, as the company filed a review petition in this case on Tuesday.
MERC chairman VP Raja refused comment. However, a senior MERC official said on the condition of anonymity, that Mahavitaran was trying to put undue pressure on the commission and the government.
“We have urged MERC to grant us interim relief immediately. Otherwise, from October 10, Mahavitaran will not be in a position to purchase power. MERC did not allow us to recovered such costs that we incurred in the past,” said the executive.
MERC denied the company relief last week because it would take up tariff determination later this month.
However, Mahavitaran maintained that the MERC was deliberately delaying the procedure, by citing public hearings.