Circle superintending engineer of the state power utility at Gondia, AS Fulkar conformed that Adani was levied the power factor penalty. However, he sought to downplay the incident saying such penalties are levied on defaulters including industries which fail to pay up capacity charging costs from time to time. The Adani dues were piled up in last three months. The private power player reportedly did not adjust the start-up power cost that it had incurred on power it got from MSEDCL for starting their first unit which after capacitor charging was transmitted to MSEDCL.
Patole has now demanded that an offence be registered against concerned Adani officials as well as the state power company for failure to recover dues in time. "I have a strong suspicion that they were involved in covering it up. But this is a serious matter concerning general public because the state power company hikes tariff frequently citing costs incurred. Non-payment of such dues by Adani would lead to people paying higher rates for power they consume," Patole claimed.
Adani plant general manager OP Bhargav told TOI he was not aware of any such development. "I have no idea about this penalty. The commercial department located in Mumbai looks after this aspect," he said. He admitted that state power company officials had inspected Tiroda plant but said it was to see work for second unit.
Bhargav also said that the plant was reeling under severe coal shortage and he was dealing with that crisis on day to day basis. "We require around 9000 tonnes a day and there is hardly any supply. There is no infrastructure like rail heads. Transporting by road is very slow, our generation is badly hit," he said. The company's plans to have its own captive coal blocks are stuck. With work on for setting up four more units at Tiroda and little coal to fire them, the situation is bleak right now.
After we took up the matter with CM Prithviraj Chavan and minister of state for power Rajendra Mulak, officials from Mumbai were sent to Tiroda and they sorted out the matter forcing Adani to shell out the penalty.