The state Legislative Assembly’s public account committee (PAC) has recommended that a law be made to forbid Tata Power Company from trading excess quantum of power in cities other than Mumbai.
The committee, headed by Girish Bapat (Bharatiya Janata Party) tabled its sixth report of the twelfth Assembly on Monday. The committee comprising 25 all-party legislators made this suggestion after seeking the state energy department’s view on the rising power bills of the city’s suburban consumers.
Tata’s excess quantum is what it is left with after catering to its distribution company and Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking (BEST). The committee felt that if suburban supplier Reliance Infrastructure got this extra power, the consumers would not need to pay through the nose.
The committee also wants the state to implement a uniform tariff across the city because the four independent companies charge different rates, of which tariff in suburbs is highest in the state. It asked the state to follow the pattern in New Delhi where the government buys power from generation companies and then supplies it to all the distributors at a uniform price.
The committee took up the issue following a Comptroller and Auditor General report on the city’s power scenario. It summoned the energy secretary, who told them that the Tata Power Company’s generation arm was legally free to profit by selling power to consumers of its choice.
The committee was told that since Tata refused to supply adequate power to it, Reliance Infrastructure bought expensive power from other sources and passed the extra cost on to its consumers.
The committee recommended, “Though Tata has a legal right to trade power with consumers (in other states), it should offer its entire generation to Mumbai as a social obligation. The state should make a law to bar Tata and other companies from selling their extra power.”
Bapat was unsure whether the state would act on the recommendation. “It is mandatory for the government to act within three months of the PAC report.”