The state has urged the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) to reduce tariff of the 22 lakh suburban consumers who consume 300 units or less a month.
A senior energy department official, requesting anonymity, said the government was unable to stay the tariff hike by Reliance Infrastructure because it had to vacate the stay that was given last summer. “Chief minister Ashok Chavan met MERC members early this week to seek their opinion. He told them that the tariff of low-end users needed to be curtailed in the public interest,” said the officer. “The CM has written to MERC requesting it to lower the tariff.”
Since uniform tariff for the city is not possible because of multiple reasons, lowering the Reliance seven percent hike is the only relief that can be offered to the majority of city consumers.
One of the measures could be to recover a proportionate fuel adjustment charge (FAC) for all categories. ‘The consumers who use more power will pay more FAC. Currently, all consumers pay same charge,” said the officer. “MERC has already proposed this move.”
Suburban consumers who get their supply from Reliance pay more than their counterparts because their provider spends more money on purchasing expensive power. On the other hand, Tata users pay lowest charges because their company has adequate generation of its own. BEST users pay a little more than Tata consumers.
Another measure that MERC can think of is direct equitable distribution of inexpensive power among all utilities. By doing this, all companies will be able to get the supply as per their demand and also keep check on rising tariff.