The notice has come as a respite to most consumers who use less than 300 units of power for their small businesses run from homes. The power utility has not complied with the commission's August 16 order.
The commission had in its order ruled that all consumers like small tea stalls, pan shops and groceries belonging to rural and urban areas which consume less than 300 units per month or 3,600 units per year be applied residential tariff. The list of such consumers included public services, village and cottage industries as well.
However, the power company came out with a commercial circular number 177 in September and excluded industries and consumers from the category, without obtaining permission from the regulator. Pratap Hogade of Maharashtra Rajya Veej Grahak Sanghatana had challenged the MSEDCL's move claiming it was against the orders of the power regulator and demanded action against the concerned officers under sections 142 and 146 of Electricity Act 2003 that includes penal action.
In the hearing conducted on November 23, the MERC finally ordered show cause notice to the power company.
The Nashik Zilla Grahak Panchayat has questioned the provision of show-cause notice. When MERC has understood that the power company is overshooting its limitations the regulator had to only penalise the officials. By issuing a show cause in the case, it is only killing time as it has happened in the past too, the panchayat said.
Vilas Deole of the panchayat cited the case of Vinod Bhagwat, a retired senior official with MSEDCL who was charged for laying of infrastructure for power connection to his house, by the power company. "While MSEDCL ruled charges should not be taken, Bhagwat demanded a refund, which MSEDCL did not give. Finally, the case went to MERC where the regulator ruled in favour of Bhagwat. But MSEDCL went to the Supreme Court but lost the case. He was then compesated. The MERC should now take stricter action against the MSEDCL for such issues," Deole said.
The notice has come as a respite to most consumers who use less than 300 units of power for their small businesses run from homes.The power utility has not complied with the commission's August 16 order.