Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Infrastructure (R Infra) has filed an appeal in the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) seeking a stay on the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC)'s recent order on change-over and switch-over of R-infra's consumers to Tata Power in the Mumbai distribution area. R Infra has said that a stay be granted until MERC approves Tata Power's network rollout plan in its distribution area in Mumbai and up to northern suburb Dahisar.
In its petition, which came up for hearing on Wednesday, R Infra clarified that it has not prayed for a stay on MERC's order delivered last week granting distribution licence to Tata Power in Mumbai up to August 2039. In the same order, MERC had directed Tata Power to submit network rollout in six weeks.
APTEL has asked MERC to file an affidavit by August 25 and kept the next hearing on the R Infra's stay application on August 26. MERC officials confirmed that APTEL has slated hearing on R Infra's petition on August 26. An R Infra spokesperson was not reachable for comment.
R Infra fears cherry-picking of its customers in the absence of a network rollout plan by Tata Power and, therefore, it pleaded for a stay on the change-over and switch-over of customers.
MERC had put the restrictions on change-over and switch-over of customers above 300 units in August 22, 2012. However, in its recent order MERC lifted the restriction of change-over and switch-over of customers above 300 units.
The Supreme Court order delivered on July 8, 2008 had ruled that Tata Power has the licence to supply electricity to retail consumers. In the same Judgment, the apex court had clarified that till Tata Power lays down its own distribution network, they can utilise the provision of wheeling according to the Electricity Act, 2003 (EA 2003) and use the existing network of other distribution licencees for supplying power to consumers.
Ashok Pendse, consumer representative, MERC, told Business Standard: "The Supreme Court in its order in 2007-08 has used the word interregnum. Hence, R Infra's wires are being used by TPC (Tata Power Company) to supply electricity. However, it is mandatory to have its own network and R Infra would like the use of its wire come to an end as early as possible. This is the crux of the issue."
Source- Business standard