Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Devendra Fadnavis has alleged a scam of Rs13,000 crore in the state's power generation arm Mahagenco.
The MLA said that though the utility had contracted coal at Rs1,300 per tonne from Western Coalfields Ltd, it chose to buy expensive coal from the open market at Rs4,000 per tonne. Fadnavis alleged that energy minister Ajit Pawar had stopped supply of coal from washeries - where raw coal is washed for increasing its energy quotient - in order to favour private parties. The BJP MLA said that using unwashed coal would hurt power generation.
Fadnavis alleged that the state had not done much to increase power generation at its own plants, and hence the cost of generation at state plants had increased to Rs3.38 per unit from Rs2.20 per unit in just one year.
"The state is doing nothing because it wants to buy power from private players. The increased costs of generation and buying expensive power... will be borne by the consumers," he said, adding that the state would need to buy at least 10% of its total need from private generators.
Opposition leader Eknath Khadse also alleged corruption in state power companies.
Pawar, however, denied all charges. "There is no substance to the allegations about mismanagement in state power utilities. Maharashtra has the lowest rates of buying power and there is no new tender on coal import policy, nor any change in quantity being imported," he said. He also said that Mahagenco had increased plant load factor from 61% in 2010-11 to 72% in 2011-12.