In what may prove to be a bitter pill for middle class families, those consuming over 300 units of electricity in Maharashtra may have to pay more tariff in the near future.
Maharashtra Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule said that considering the growing demand for power and ensuring uninterrupted power supply the state government is planning to construct two thermal-based power plants at Dahanu in Thane districts.
"It is of utmost importance that a city like Mumbai has uninterrupted power supply. Instructions have been issued to the energy department to submit its plan for alternate power supply to Mumbai within 15 days," he said.
"Considering the growing demand for power and ensuring uninterrupted power supply the state government is planning to construct two thermal based 660 MW units at port side of Dahanu in Thane district," Bawankule said.
Mumbai gets a power supply of 3,416 MW. As per Mahavitaran's projection, by 2021 the demand for power in Mumbai will be around 4,350 MW.
"The aim of the government is to ensure that the burden of power tariff rates for those consuming less than 300 units is not raised. Those like the Ambanis can afford to pay higher tariff rates," he said.
Bawankule further said the four power utilities supplying power to Mumbai, namely - Mahavitaran, BEST, Tata and R-Infra - have been asked to present their annual tariff plans for 2016-17 to the state government before submitting them to the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC).
He added that Energy Secretary Mukesh Khullar has been asked to study the Mumbai power tariff issue and submit his report to the state government.
"The government has given its nod for converting an oil-based unit of Tata Power Company (TPC) to thermal. Besides this the government has decided to give further extension to the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between TPC and BEST which is due to expire in 2018," Bawankule said.
At present the monthly maximum demand for power in Mumbai is around 3,416 MW, while the supply is around 2005.31 million units.
Out of the actual demand, Mahavitaran supplies 250 MW, Tata 1,048 MW, BEST 838 and R-Infra 1,530 MW.