The Maharashtra Electricity Regulation Commission (MERC) on Tuesday, 4 December, took cognisance of the media reports highlighting an excessive hike in electricity bills in Mumbai, after business tycoon Gautam Adani’s Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited (Distribution Business) [AEML-D] took over power-distribution from Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra), and demanded an explanation from the former within 24 hours.
In response to the complaints, an AEML-D spokesperson told The Quint that the hike had “no correlation with Adani taking over” or the distribution, and that its tariff rates were approved by state power regulator Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC).
However, in a notice accessed by The Quint, the MERC said it had taken note of the consumers’ grievances regarding the surge in electricity bill prices, which was not “commensurate” with the marginal hike in the tariff that had been approved by the Commission.
MERC Executive Director Dr Rajendra Ambedkar, in the notice, said:
"“I am directed to seek explanation from AEML-D within 24 hours, detailing facts of the matter, and the steps taken by AEML-D to remedy the situation.”" - Dr Rajendra Ambedkar, MERC Executive Director
MERC said that it had approved an average tariff increase of about 0.24 percent, in its MTR Order for the financial year 2018-2019.
However, it said consumers had complained that the issuance of the electricity bills was based on average energy consumption, instead of the actual meter reading.
Based on these complaints, MERC said it had issued the Mid Term Review Order, and thereby revised the tariff applicable in the area of AEML-D.
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