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Home News Power Sector News Tata Power moves Mumbai High court against State and SLDC

Tata Power moves Mumbai High court against State and SLDC

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Mumbai High CourtTata Power Company (TPC)  filed a writ petition in the Bombay high court challenging the state government’s suggestion to supply 360MW of electricity to RInfra till June end and the refusal of the Maharashtra State Load Dispatch Centre (MSLDC) to re-schedule 160MW of 360MW from May 16. According to TPC, the government cannot direct the generating company to sell power to any particular licensee as this would amount to regulation of generation activity. Also, such a direction would bring back through the back door the licence raj in regard to electricity generation, which was unshackled by the Electricity Act.

The petition says that the government has erred in threatening to invoke section 11 of the Act to direct TPC to give power to a particular distribution company. “This section can be invoked only if there is a threat to security of the state or public order. This is no such occasion as the dispute with RInfra relates to high consumer tariff,” said the petition.

The company said it is “distressed that its rights and customers interests are being sacrificed for the benefit of one operator. The recommendation of the state government further supports an inefficient distribution licensee who has repeatedly failed to fulfill its obligation to arrange power for its consumers as stipulated under the Electricity Act, 2003.The decision taken by the government does not factor in the fact that Reliance Infrastructure’s 160 Mw load has shifted to Tata Power and hence its requirements also need to be fulfilled.”

According to the company, it was also disappointed that the State Load Despatch Centre (SLDC) was not performing its statutory duty to schedule 160 Mw to Tata Power-Distribution under the pretext that the matter has been referred by the state government to the regulatory commission.

Our distribution business is suffering an additional financial burden of about Rs 60 lakh per day on account of this illegal refusal to schedule 160 Mw power to us, which will ultimately have to be borne by the consumers of Tata Power-Distribution,” the company said.

Tata Power said the state government has expressed certain opinion with regards to its generation assets, which were not covered by power purchase agreements with a distribution company in the state.

“This is clearly contrary to our rights under the Electricity Act 2003, which has been approved by the Supreme Court. In our view, MERC doesn’t have jurisdiction over such generation assets that are not covered by power purchase agreements,” it added.

Meanwhile, the state government said the SLDC should maintain status quo regarding 360 Mw unless and until Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) gives any direction in the matter.

The move is crucial especially when MERC has convened a hearing on June 28 on the matter. MERC has restricted the hearing only on the state government’s memorandum of May 7, in which the government has suggested that Tata Power has an obligation to supply electricity from its generating stations at the regulated rate.

Besides, the government has asked MERC to put in place a mechanism to ensure that subsidised customers of Reliance Infrastructure do not have to suffer abnormal tariff rise only on account of the effect of migration of its cross subsidizing consumers to Tata Power which is in a dominant position.

RInfra has said that it has given documentary evidence to the government that TPC thwarted its plans to set up generation plants and wanted to sell power to earn extra profits.

Source- DNA

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