Consumers from Kanjurmarg, Bhandup, Mulund, Thane and Navi Mumbai, who get their electricity from the state power distribution company Mahavitaran, will get a chance to argue against the proposed hefty hike in power bills before the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) on October 23.
Mahavitaran has proposed a 48% hike for domestic consumers, who use 0-100 units a month. The proposal has been facing strong opposition as the majority of consumers fall in this bracket - 1 crore of its 1.9 crore consumers.
Mahavitaran feels that consumers, who have enjoyed significant cross-subsidy till date, should start paying at least the average cost of power that the firm pays to the power-generating companies.
Currently, consumers in this category pay 286 paise per unit, and the company wants to raise this to 400 paise.
There are more than 20 lakh Mahavitaran consumers in the eastern suburbs and in Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivli and Virar-Vasai.
The MERC will hear the consumers' arguments at CIDCO Bhavan in Navi Mumbai on October 23, starting 10 am. Hearings will also be held at five other divisional headquarters.
Arup Jagtap of the Shiv Sena's power consumer cell has objected to Mahavitaran's proposal.
"I have submitted our argument to the MERC. I would like the Commission to give the common public more time to argue their case because the company representatives take up the most time at public hearings," Jagtap said.
The regulatory commission will also conduct public hearings on business proposals of the Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (Mahagenco) and the Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Limited (Mahatransco).
These will affect the tariff consumers have to pay as Mahavitaran buys power from Mahagenco, which uses Mahatransco's transmission facility.