State power regulator slams 'unprofessional' Mahagenco
Terming them unprofessional, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), on Wednesday, rejected the state-owned generation utility, Mahagenco's, demand for cancellation of public hearing in a case related to two new generation units that it failed to commission in stipulated time.mumbai Updated: Sep 16, 2011 00:48 IST
Terming them unprofessional, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), on Wednesday, rejected the state-owned generation utility, Mahagenco's, demand for cancellation of public hearing in a case related to two new generation units that it failed to commission in stipulated time.
In its order passed on Wednesday evening, the commission blamed Mahagenco for increasing the capital cost of two 250-MW thermal units -Parli-7 and Paras-4 - which became operational last year by overlooking crucial factors such as time and cost.
Mahagenco had asked the commission to consider the increased capital costs while determining the tariff for selling its generation to the state power distribution arm, Mahavitaran, but did not want a public hearing on it.
The extra burden of high power purchase costs would have been passed on to the Mahavitaran's 1.90 crore consumers through the monthly bills.
Dismissing the demand, the MERC ruled that the consumers who would subsequently pay the tariff should be made aware of the nuances and details pertaining to the project at a public hearing on September 30.
"Cost consciousness is absent in the mindset of the senior project team [of Mahagenco]. This, the commission feels, is an unpardonable sin, from the point of view of the consumers. As a part of its duty to propagate and ensure transparency under section 86(3) of the Electricity Act, 2003, the commission has a mandate to educate the consumers and demand accountability from the project implementers," stated the order.
MERC stated that Mahagenco's approach of 'dragging feet' was in sharp contrast with other players who met their project deadlines.
It observed that Mahagenco had not learned from Parli unit 6 and Paras unit 3 projects in which its cost and time had crossed the deadline, two years ago. Following this, Mahagenco had promised to fix accountabilities and responsibilities for its future projects.
"The technology of the 250-MW thermal power units is well-established. The petitioner should have commissioned the projects in the scheduled period and saved the burden of excessive capital cost," stated the order.