Hurt by accusations of inefficiently running the state power generation company Mahagenco, the utility's outgoing managing director Subrat Ratho has applied for voluntary retirement from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).
On Friday, Ratho, 49, was transferred to the position of principal secretary in the General Administration Department in Mantralaya. He applied for a premature retirement two days before his relocation. Ratho has served the state's energy sector for seven years, starting as the head of power transmission company Mahatransco. He also held the additional position of energy secretary and managed Mahagenco, till Friday.
Ratho is learnt to have fallen out of deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar's favour because Mahagenco told the state electricity regulator that the state distribution utility Mahavitaran, its sole buyer, asked to shut down generation plants because it wanted to fulfill its power purchase agreements with private suppliers. Experts have accused Mahavitaran of buying expensive power from private parties when Mahagenco could have supplied it at much lower rates.
Many officers in the know told HT that Ratho decided to relinquish the coveted post because he had been wrongly accused of not running Mahagenco smoothly. The company has been unable to generate to its optimum capacity because of coal shortages and issues arising from outdated generation units.
Pawar, who heads the energy department, has brought in Ashish Sharma, who was the municipal commissioner of Pimpri-Chinchwad, as the new Mahagenco chief. Chief secretary JK Banthia confirmed Ratho's request. While Ratho refused to comment, a colleague said that he wouldn't change his decision.