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Home News Power Sector News MSEDCL walks out of hearing‎- Clash with MERC continues

MSEDCL walks out of hearing‎- Clash with MERC continues

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MSEDCLThe clash between the energy ministry and the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) intensified further on Friday when MSEDCL managing director Ajoy Mehta, energy secretary Subrat Ratho and some senior MSEDCL officers left a hearing on load-shedding mid-way. While consumer activist Pratap Hogade described the incident as a walk out, Mehta said that he had taken permission of the commission.

The state government earlier used to respect MERC in public. But this is no longer the case. Minister of state for energy Vijay Wadettiwar had recently said that many MERC decisions were anti-people and impractical. The petition has been filed by the Maharashtra state association of electricity consumers, alleging that though demand for power has declined due to the onset of monsoon, the MSEDCL was implementing excessive load shedding in rural areas and cities that do not have zero load shedding models. The petition said that though the power shortfall was less than 4000 MW, the company was implementing a load shedding protocol that was fixed on April 25 for a shortfall of 6000 MW.

The trouble started when Merc chairman V P Raja asked consumer representatives to present their say in the matter first. MSEDCL officials, including managing director Ajay Mehta requested the commission that the MSEDCL should be allowed to present its say first. However, when the commission refused, MSEDCL officials decided to walk out, after asking the commission for another date to present their side. Only two officials were asked to stay back to take down notes on what the consumer representatives said during the hearing.

Disturbed by the development, the Merc asked the MSEDCL to file an affidavit with accurate data and after reconciling with their previous affidavits in the matter. The commission also made it clear that such a stance by the MSEDCL would not be tolerated. The next hearing has been scheduled on August 16.

Mehta described the charges of walk out as a mischievous propaganda. "We were the accused in the hearing. As per the civil or criminal procedure code, the accused is given an opportunity to speak after prosecution. The prosecution presented its side on July 16. This time, the same people were being repeatedly given a chance first. I therefore raised a point of order but was overruled. Hence I and Mr Ratho asked the MERC to excuse us as being senior officers we had a lot of work to do," said Mehta.

Consumer activist Pratap Hogade alleged that MSEDCL had submitted false data. "It stated on the affidavit that the power shortfall was around 6,000 MW but SLDC shows that it is between 2,500 MW and 3,000 MW," said Hogade.

Source- Times of India


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