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Home News Power Sector News Maharashtra - 40% electricity tariff hike plan sparks anger

Maharashtra - 40% electricity tariff hike plan sparks anger

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MERCConsumers voiced concern over a proposal to increase the power tariff at a public hearing by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission recently. The tariff of more than 1.6 crore power consumers, including 25 lakh in Mulund, Bhandup, Kanjurmarg, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan and Dombivli, may increase by over 40% in the next financial year. "If there is a hike, then why should consumers buy that power from the state government as it could be even costlier than the electricity being generated by private power plants?" asked consumer representatives.

The hearing held by Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission ( MERC) was held over a multi-year business plan submitted by the Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Ltd (MSPGCL), also known as Mahagenco. MSPGCL generates power and supplies it to state power distributor - the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) - which then supplies it to consumers across the state, including a few central suburbs of Mumbai and distant townships beyond city limits.

Currently, the power company sells power at Rs 3.14 per unit but it could increase in the range between Rs 4.40 and Rs 5.52 per unit in 2013-2014. Few of its plants would be able to restrict the cost of supply between Rs 3.40 and Rs 4.18 per unit. Thus overall the power cost would range between Rs 4.50 to Rs 5 per unit.

Pratap Hogade of Maharashtra Veej Grahak Sanghatana ( MVGS) while objecting to this growing cost of supply for consumers projected in the business plan of Mahagenco said the generation units of state's power producer had been consistently generating power much less than their capacity.

According to Hogade thermal power plants of the MSPGCL were producing to 60-65 per cent of their generating capacity against the generation 105 cent registered by power units belonging to major private generators like Reliance, Tata and around 75 per cent by the National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd power plants. He pointed out that even the maintenance and capital costs on newer expansion plans suggested by MSPGCL were much more than the costs being incurred nationally by other government-owned generators.

However, the MSPGCL in its reply said that shortage of coal supply, larger quantum of raw and substandard coal were mainly responsible for the decline in actual generation by 25 per cent against the existing capacity. MSPGCL also pointed out the dues of about Rs 4500 crore pending with its distribution arm - the MSEDCL which recovers money from consumers besides the growing costs of coal, gas, oil and setting up of newer plants internationally.

Source- TOI


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