As the tussle between Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra), which distributes power in the suburbs, and supplier Tata Power Company (TPC) continued, the government on Friday sent a stern letter to TPC.
In the letter, the state government asked TPC it to ease its stand on conditional supply of power to RInfra.
The letter comes a day after Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said he would ensure that there would neither be power cuts in Mumbai nor hike in tariff.
“We have replied to TPC that this is an extraordinary situation of power shortage. They should follow our two principles of electricity: Not to be supplied outside Mumbai; sell it at a regulated price. If there are any other issues, apart from these two points, then we are interested in talking,” said state energy secretary Subratho Ratho.
This letter is seen as the state’s clear message to TPC, which on Thursday said it would sell 200 MW to RInfra at Rs 5.90 per unit instead of the current rate of Rs 3.50 per unit.
When asked what action would the state take if TPC does not follow its diktat, Ratho said: “We don’t want to precipitate the issue. Whether or not Tata Power follows our request is hypothetical as we believe that it can be solved amicably and they would heed our request.”
The TPC said it was not aware of any letter by the government. “We left our offices at 7.30 pm and till that time we didn’t receive any letter from the state government. We might receive it tomorrow. As of now our stand remains the same,” said S. Padmanabhan, executive director (Operations), TPC.
Rinfra’s daily need is 1735 MW of which 358 MW (over 20 per cent) comes from TPC, as per an old arrangement.
TPC has now told RInfra that it can sell it only 200 MW and that too at Rs 5.90 per unit.
The TPC also gave RInfra a deadline until May 17 to accept the offer, failing which it plans to divert the same to its consumers or sell in the open market.
The controversy began following the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission’s directive that RInfra and TPC should have a power purchase agreement.
Following disputes between the two utilities over various issues, the TPC said it would not be able to supply power to RInfra as its own consumer base was growing.
The state recently directed TPC to continue supply to RInfra, which declared that there could be power cuts in the suburbs or consumers would have to pay more because buying additional electricity would be costly.
By Sunday, TPC plans to halve off 160 MW of the total 360 MW sold to RInfra for their consumer base of 60,000 homes.