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MSEDCL seeks tariff revision to raise 29,416 crores

Friday, February 09, 2018
By Raju Vernekar

The Maharashtra Veej Grahak Sanghatana (MVGS), a power consumers’ body, has objected to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) proposal to revise power tariff by nearly 21 per cent (Rs. 1.37 per unit) to raise Rs. 29,416 crores over the next two years.

MVGS has pointed out that the hike in power tariff sought by MSEDCL, in its mid-term review petition (No. 48 of 2016 for the period FY 2016-17 to FY 2019-20) submitted to the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), will crush the backbone of over 2.4 crore power consumers in the state. As such MERC should not to approve the hike unless the revision sought is compared with the report on power consumption by agricultural sector prepared by the Agricultural Consumption Committee(ACC), in association with IIT (Indian institute of Technology) Mumbai in June 2015.

MVGS has stated that IIT Mumbai was appointed to assist the ACC in carrying out the study of the agricultural consumption in Maharashtra. The Committee was expected to finalise the report after field visits and analysis, considering seasonal fluctuations affecting agricultural sale. The MERC in its order dated November 3, 2016 had said that the revision will be allowed only after the report of the committee was received. Now that the report has been received, the MERC should allow tariff hike only after the report was studied.

In fact, it is due to the failure of the MSEDCL to stop transmission loss that it has been suffering and has accumulated losses of over Rs. 7,200 crores due to the pending bills of consumers in the agriculture sector. Basically the transmission loss should not be more than 12 per cent. Accordingly, the transmission loss of the companies including BEST, Reliance and Tata does not exceed 12 per cent and in fact it is much lesser. However, the transmission loss of MSEDCL is astronomical and there is rampant corruption in functioning of the MSEDCL, MVGS president Pratap Hogade said.

In view of the weak condition of MSEDCL, the MERC had estimated the transmission loss of MSEDCL at 31.87 per cent in 2000, 39.49 per cent (2002) and 34.97 per cent (2006). Finally the MERC had fixed the consumption per horse power at 1318 unit per per annum for agri pumps. However, MSEDCL began showing annual consumption at 1,900-2,000 units. Besides, the MSEDCL has also been collecting charges showing consumption of 125 units per horse power, even without taking actual reading of the power consumed. Furthermore, it has also been collecting charges for 100 units, although actual consumption by farmers is less than 60 units per month, Hogade said.

Hogade also alleged that the MSECDL’s tariff for the industrial sector is 25-30 per cent more as compared to other states due to which entrepreneurs prefer other states for investment in industrial projects.

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