Power consumers of Maharashtra oppose the increase in electricity rate


Report by Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC) correspondent


Power consumers of Maharashtra are opposing the increase in electricity rate allowed by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC). The price increase has become effective from April 1. The extra burden on power consumers due to rate increase will be more than Rs. 39,000 crore in the next two years.

BEST, which supplies power to 10 lakh consumers in the island city, says that the increase in its rate will be 5.07% for 2023-24 and 6.35% for 2024-25. Tata Power, which supplies electricity in eastern and western suburbs of Mumbai and in the jurisdiction of Mira-Bhayandar, has been allowed to increase 11.9% and 12.2% in two years respectively. Adani Electricity, which supplies the power to 26 lakh consumers in Mumbai suburbs, has been allowed to increase the rate by 2.3% and 2.1% in 2023-24 and 2024-25 respectively.

State-owned Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (Mahavitran), which is the largest supplier of power across the state including Bhandup-Mulund, Thane, Navi Mumbai, has been allowed to increase the rate by 2.9% this year and 5.6% next year, as per MERC.

Pratap Hogade, President, State Electricity Consumers Organisation, said that the power companies have been misleading the people on the percentage of the hike.

“The hike given by the MERC is bogus, illegal and misleading and we are moving the electricity appellate authority in New Delhi, against it,” he said.

“Though the state government had said that it would be around 11%, the hike allowed by MERC is actually 21.65% as the companies have been allowed to mop up ₹39,567 crore in next two years from the hike. The hike in electricity charges is 20 to 52% and in fixed charges up to 10 and 20% in two years respectively,” added Hogade.

He said that the hike is illegal because the MERC has overlooked the strictures passed by internal auditors and the CAG audits. “The auditors have clearly stated that the base on which the hike has been calculated is wrong. They also have pointed at the inflated figures of agricultural consumption of the power. The power companies have been fudging the figures,” he said.

Besides approving the increase in rate, the MERC has also recommended formation of a new company for agricultural consumers to establish ‘energy consumption accountability’. The power employees of Maharashtra have been opposing this move of the state government by pointing out that the real objective of this proposal is to make privatisation of Mahavitran easier.



Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments