After dragging BEST undertaking to court to ensure transport loss recovery surcharge (TDLR) is gradually discontinued in power bills, activists have now made a fresh demand: it should refund the Rs 2,200 crore recovered as fuel adjustment charges (FAC) in power bills from 10.5 lakh consumers in the island city in the last three years. But BEST officials said FAC was being charged as per directives of the state regulatory body and called the activists' demand 'irrational'.
Fuel adjustment charge is the amount that utilities apply on bills based on varying price of fuel or coal.
If the activists get their way, monthly power bills will drop by around 13%.
Activist Kamlakar Shenoy, who is also an AAP member, plans to approach the state regulatory commission to seek refund of the FAC component. He had earlier moved the Supreme Court to seek TDLR refund for BEST power consumers in the island city. While the surcharge will discontinue from December, the matter on refund (Rs 3,600 crore) is being heard by a three-member Supreme Court bench.
"The FAC is 65% of the TDLR in your electricity bill, and the amount comes to around Rs 1,700 crore for the past three years. If you add taxes and cess, the amount will be around Rs 2,200 crore. This should be refunded to consumers," said Shenoy, who held a press conference on Thursday. He claimed fuel prices have dropped considerably and displayed the electricity bill of a consumer of another power utility firm that was disbursing refunds.
But a senior official from the BEST electricity wing said, "We had refunded Rs 296 crore about a couple of years back following a directive by Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission. We had collected FAC in excess and had therefore, disbursed refunds in six monthly instalments. There is no such decision for now."
Meanwhile, a few political parties are scrambling to take credit for withdrawal of TDLR in BEST power bills from December as civic polls are approachin