MLA moves court for uniform power tariff in Mumbai

Mumbai, Nov. 29 -- An MLA from the city has approached the Bombay high court asking that the state government be told to introduce a uniform tariff policy for electricity supplied by BEST, Reliance Infrastructure and Tata Power Company. The PIL filed by member of the legislative assembly (MLA) Gopal Shetty from the BJP, and social worker Yogesh Kadam is likely to come up for hearing before a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and justice Anoop Mohta next week.

In the PIL filed through advocate Sagar Kasar, Shetty and Kadam have raised concerns about the difference in tariff charged by the three distributors where BEST caters to about nine lakh consumers and R-Infra to 20 lakh consumers.

The petitioners have alleged that R-Infra was charging a higher tariff as compared to BEST and Tata Power Company. In support of their objection R-Infra's rates, they have cited a report prepared by consulting firm Price Waterhouse Cooper in July 2011.

According to them, the report indicated that R-Infra had shown its operations and maintenance expenses were much higher than that of Tata Power Company, BEST and Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company. Besides, the average cost of supply and technical and distribution losses of R-Infra were also shown as being higher than other distributors and it was being recovered from consumers.

"It appears that the figures shown by R-Infra have been substantially manipulated," the PIL alleges and attributes it to the lack of policy of uniformity in electricity tariff in Maharashtra. In cities such as Delhi, there is uniformity in power tariff among different licensees, the PIL stated.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.