Now, changing power distributor gets easier
Availing cheaper power in the island city has become easier. The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (ATE) has dismissed the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport's (BEST) appeal, which had said that the state regulator couldn’t allow other distributors to do business in its area.
Acting on local hotelier Guruprasad Shetty’s petition, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has directed Tata Power Company to lay its network to provide power to Shetty’s commercial establishments.
Several others had also filed petitions after Tata refused to supply power to them citing opposition from BEST.
Shetty and others wanted to use the provision in the Electricity Act, 2003, that allows consumers to change their distributor. Thousands of affected consumers in suburbs have already migrated to Tata because of their low tariffs. They use existing network to avail power supply and pay carrying charges as stipulated by MERC.
“Hoteliers like me would save at least 40% in our power bills by buying power from Tata,” Shetty told Hindustan Times on Saturday. ATE had decided in this matter late last month, but Shetty received the order recently.
BEST, which caters to 10 lakh consumers, contested before MERC and ATE that since it was civic undertaking and protected under relevant laws, it wouldn’t allow use of its network.
Following this, MERC gave Tata a year’s time to lay its network. Tata has laid cables in most of the island city where it already has many substations.
But BEST authorities are still unwilling to comply with the ATE ruling. The company spokesperson said that they would challenge the order in the Supreme Court.
Shetty said he would write to MERC and Tata to get him connected with their network at the earliest.
“Our applications have been lying with Tata for more than a year.” Tata officials were, however, unavailable for comment.