The Mumbai Congress on Wednesday sought Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao’s intervention in the ongoing row over hike in electricity bills of domestic consumers in the suburbs. Alleging that the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) was furthering the interests of power distribution companies, Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam demanded that the Governor’s office step in to reverse the hike.
Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited (AEML), which took over from Reliance Energy in August this year, controls a major share of power distribution in Mumbai. In September, MERC had agreed to AEML’s proposal for an upward revision in power tariffs.
While the Congress has questioned MERC’s move to allow a hike a month after the takeover, both MERC and AEML have contended that the proposal for revision in tariff had been submitted by Reliance Energy in December 2017 and had been considered.
On Tuesday, MERC, after receiving several complaints regarding inflated bills, wrote to AEML seeking an explanation in this regard. “As per tariff revision approved by the MERC, the average tariff hike allowed was around 0.24 per cent. However, from media reports, it is observed that a large section of AEML consumers are continuously agitating against unduly excessive electricity bills received by them recently. Further, there are complaints about issuance of electricity bills based on average energy consumption instead of actual reading,” the letter addressed to AEML by MERC’s Executive Director Rajendra Ambekar states. Claiming that MERC had taken a serious note of these reports, it directed the AEML to submit an explanation.
An AEML spokesperson said: “The honourable MERC has sought additional information which we will be submitting tomorrow (Thursday).”
Nirupam alleged that “MERC and the AEML were working hand-in-glove” and has sought the Governor’s intervention. He also demanded a judicial probe into the allegation that MERC was “promoting the interests of power companies”.