There seems to be a lot of (mis) information being spread - about the Mumbai Power Tariff situation, which is leading to confusion in the minds of the people.
I thought of contributing my opinion to the on-goings. Please spare a few moments and go through this post.
1. State Govt can bring down tariff.
Well, not really .. NO. The power to determine tariff rates are SOLELY with MERC, as per the Electricity Act, 2003. NO STATE GOVT can set the rate. At best the State Govt can grant a SUBSIDY (meaning the rate to the consumer will be low, but the Govt will pay the supplier directly).
In such circumstances, the Govt ends up incurring a loss (and Maharashtra is already in a loss) and will eventually RAISE TAXES in some other form to compensate for this loss. So we consumers WILL end up paying for this anyway, in case the State Govt gives any supplier any kind of subsidy!
2. Uniform Tariff in Mumbai
Uniform Tariff is NOT permitted by the EA 2003!! IN fact the whole concept of 'competition' will become defunct is the tariff is the same for all suppliers. Like in PETROL.
Also, (again) the Govt will have to end up paying the supplier to HOLD prices at a particular (LOW) level. This is what the Delhi Govt had been doing for the past three years - and now that subsidy has also been withdrawn recently.
3. Lower rates are benefiting builders/malls.
Builders/Malls had a much higher rate - which is partly on account of something called "cross-subsidy". This means that if the avge cost of power is Rs. 4 (say), then some users are charged Rs. 2-3, and the others are charged Rs. 5-7 (to make up for the 'discount' to the lower users).
The EA 2003 and the National Tariff Policy have mandated that the level of cross-subsidy is too high and MUST be brought down. Hence the unusually high rates MUST come down and (consequently), the lower rates WILL go up.
There's NOTHING that the Mah State Govt can do in this - neither can the MERC be held responsible - they are just following the law.
4. Tata Power is 'responsible' for the power shortage (!)
At the risk of sounding like a Tata spokesperson ....Did you know that Tata Power kept supplying power to REL/RINFRA even though it was NOT paid for THREE years? Well, you try and NOT pay RINFRA for three months and what happens??
Tata Power set up an additional capacity of 250MW in the last 10 years - while BSES/REL/RINFRA did not set up a single MW. Tata Power was formally given permission by MERC to shut down its plant as there was no need for additional power (as claimed by BSES/REL) - immediately thereafter BSES/REL started making claims for higher charge (reliability charges, etc) to 'ensure' continued power to Mumbai.
RINFRA did not sign any deal with Tata - and now, from 31.3.2010, its also going to lose the 500MW that Tata was giving it.
5. Tata is selling Power outside Mumbai for a profit.
Yeah, sure, Tata is getting money for the power it supplies to MSEDCL. There is nothing in the EA 2003 that can force a Generating company to supply power to any particular area/distributor.
Even RINFRA is selling power generated by its own companies, outside the State - RINFRA's Samalkot plant generates 220MW, Goa does 48MW and Kochi has 165MW - but does ANY of this come to Mumbai?? WHY??
RINFRA has been desperately trying to get the environmental clearance waived for its Dahanu expansion plan (1200MW) citing Mumbai shortage as the reason. The Supreme Court has stayed this - as it does not want any more pollution near Mumbai. Rightly so!
I'm not in favour of Tata - neither am I against RINFRA - I'm in favour of the CONSUMER, his/her rights, and the deal he/she is getting from the suppliers.
If anyone feels differently - they are most welcome - but for now, the law is WITH us consumers - we have a choice and we should be given the right to switch suppliers and put our own meters, so till the law changes ... well, this is it!
For more info, join the BIJLEE group on Yahoo by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org - or just visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bijlee/ and read the messages.
Thanks, for your time - I value it :)
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