State power distribution company Mahavitaran has intensified its demand for scrapping the appointment of consumer representatives.
Consumer representatives could be institutions or individuals and they take part in public hearings or intervene in matters related to electricity, before the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC).
Mahavitaran has been pressing for replacements for more than a year now. It first raised the demand in August last year, when some of the representatives supposedly furnished misleading information about the company before the commission. Ajoy Mehta, managing director of Mahavitaran, reminded the commission that it must expedite the process of appointing new representatives.
“It is observed that these representatives are generally not participating in the proceedings. Some of the consumer representatives (not named), unfortunately, have a biased view, to which motives can be attributed,” Mehta said, in a letter dated September 13, 2011. A copy of the letter is with HT.
“Some consumer representatives (again, unnamed) are also taking briefs of individual consumers. This is highly objectionable and against the interest of common consumers,” Mehta added. He demanded that the MERC must prescribe terms of references, a code of conduct, eligibility and tenure for the official representatives. “It is regretted that no remarkable progress have been achieved in the matter.”
Pratap Hogade, a consumer activist and the chief of Maharashtra Power Consumers Federation, dismissed Mehta’s claims. “Mahavitaran is anti-consumer and it has spent crores of rupees on challenging consumer-friendly decisions in tribunals and courts.”