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Your power bills may shoot up

Electricity bills may soon come as a shock to residents of the eastern suburbs and rest of Maharashtra.

mumbai Updated: Oct 15, 2011 02:11 IST
Dharmendra Jore

Electricity bills may soon come as a shock to residents of the eastern suburbs and rest of Maharashtra.

The state power distribution company Mahavitaran on Friday asked the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) to allow it to recover a revenue gap of Rs5,155 crore in the current financial year.

Mahavitaran had made a similar plea before the MERC last month, but did not succeed in impressing the commission then. MERC had dismissed the previous commission saying that it would decide on the company’s regular tariff revision petition in October.

The power distribution company has demanded interim and immediate relief as it does not have funds to buy power, even as the state is reeling under power cuts due to electricity shortfall of 3,500-4,000 Megawatt (MW).

Mahaviratan managing director Ajoy Mehta told MERC chairman VP Raja that his company’s finances were crumbling every day and it needed to recover the money from its consumers if it were to buy power on regular basis.

“Though we have increased our recovery by over Rs500 crore in the past six months, we are unable to plug the revenue gap. We must be allowed to recover what we have spent on consumers,” Mehta told Hindustan Times after the hearing. “We’re not demanding anything illegal.”

Mehta told MERC that the financial institutions had stopped lending to his company because it suffered losses of more than Rs 5,000 cr. “Discoms [Power distribution companies] across the country are facing this problem. My company will recover financially if it is allowed to get its long pending dues,” Mehta said.

Although MERC chairman did not give any assurance, he said, “We are aware of the situation.”

The MERC is expected to decide the matter when it revises Mahavitaran’s tariff later this year.