The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking (BEST) has objected to any attempt to have open access to power in its distribution area of the Mumbai city and has also asked the government not to allow Tata Power to build distribution networks in the area. The BEST deposition came during a hearing of a petition filed a month ago by Guruprasad Shetty of The Association of Hotels and Restaurants (AHAR) before the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), asking for power from Tata Power Company, failing which the commission should cancel their licence.
According to Tata Power lawyers, the MERC should prevail upon BEST to allow it to wheel its power through the BEST network, failing which it would put up its own networks in the city.
“Presently, we pay Rs 8.50 per unit to the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking, 130 per cent more than Tata Power rates (Rs 3.85 per unit). Any further hike in power tariff would force us to increase prices,” said Guruprasad Shetty, Spokesperson, Association of Hotel and Restaurant. The hotel industry incurs nearly one-third of its expenses from power tariffs and any further increase — the BEST has proposed a 40 per cent hike for 2010-11 — will reflect on the menu card.
MERC has directed the BEST and Tatas to file their affidavits on the issue and has also asked for opinions from consumers. The next hearing will be on December 28.
Source - Times of India