Sunday, July 12, 2009

MERC has been LYING to the public for SIX years!!

What expectations can you have from an organization that has been LYING to the Public for the last 6 years.

As per the Electricity Act 2003, the Regulatory Commissions (MERC, here in Mah.) are supposed to appoint 'Consumer Representatives' so that these persons (or organisations) can 'represent' consumer interest, in various matters - especially in determining tariff.

Section 94(3) states, "(3) The Appropriate Commission may authorise any person, as it deems fit, to represent the interest of the consumers in the proceedings before it."

MERC has always led us (the public) to believe that the following four agencies have been "authorised by the Commission" under 94(3):
1. Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, Mumbai
2. Prayas Energy Group, Pune
3. Thane Belapur Industries Association, Navi Mumbai
4. Vidharba Industries Association, Nagpur

See MERC's RINFRA Tariff Order issued on 15-Jun-2009, where MERC is stating that hearings were conducted in the presence of 'consumer representatives' authorised under 94(3).

MERC has been allowing ONLY these four to attend and hear the initial, critical technical validation sessions for Tariff fixation - and in fact, for some of the hearings it only allows these four to attend - and does not allow the Public to participate.

On 19-Dec-2003, MERC issued an Order stating that they had appointed these four as Consumer Representatives. There was NO selection, NO invitations from the public, NO systematic methodology for such appointment, NO fixed term, NO responsibilities defined - NOTHING.

MERC just 'hand-picked' these guys ... (I wonder why?) ... and then gave them an 'open-ended' appointment!! There is NO TERMINATION date for these appointments.

I wanted to know more details and so I filed an RTI on 01-Jun-2009 (otherwise they are inclined not to respond) and to my surprise, they replied on 02-Jul-2009 that there has been NO appointment by them under Section 94(3) or under their own Regulation 18 !!

So why has MERC been 'misleading' us to believe that our (consumer) interest is being 'protected' by these 'representatives'!!

These guys could very well be the STOOGES of the electricity companies - and therefore are not really bothered about general consumer interest. No wonder tariff has been continuously rising since 2003 ...

I demand that ALL Tariff Orders issued by MERC, since 2003 be revoked, since due process of law has not been followed. Tariff to be rolled back to the pre-2003 levels.

Most of this happened during the tenure of the earlier Chairman, Dr. Pramod Deo - who is now the Chairman of CERC. The present Chairman, V.P.Raja is, unfortunately, facing all the flak...

Also, see the manner in which MERC has responded to my queries, I know for a fact that certain agencies HAVE applied - and MERC has been silent on this.

How long will you remain silent and continue to let such unscrupulous agencies get away with such blatant lies?

Send an email to MERC and let them know how you feel. Their email ID is

Tell the present Chairman to reopen ALL the Tariff Orders passed by his predecessor.

THAT's the ONLY way you will get some respite from rising tariff - who knows - you may also get a REFUND!!

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