‘Proposal of hike in electricity tariff will burden common man’

ST Correspondent
Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Meet on Aug 5

Due to the proposal of hike in electricity tariff, city-based activists will hold a discussion on August 5 at IMDR conference hall, BMCC Road, at 5 pm. The discussion is being organised by Sajag Nagrik Manch, which is headed by Vivek Velankar and Jugal Rathi, Executive Trustee.

Pune: The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has recently submitted a proposal of a tariff hike to the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC). A city activist claimed that this will be a burden on common people, as they will have to pay Rs 100-200 extra. A few days ago, the petition had been filed against the hike and the decision is now pending.

However, MSEDCL has issued a statement regarding the proposed hike. “In order to compensate the annual revenue and the expected revenue, which is decided by the commission. This difference is known as revenue deficit. But the revenue deficit is not the loss of the Mahavitaran Company,” read the statement.

“When MSEDCL is the one, who has sent the proposal, obviously it will approve of its own proposal. The proposed average supply for the year 2018-19 is Rs 7.4 per unit, which is 15 per cent higher than their own. However, what we are asking for, is to compare the rates to the per unit rates of the other states,” said Vivek Velankar, city-based activist. 

“While MSEDCL is comparing these prices to the industrial per unit rates of other states, what about the domestic one,” he asked.

“Average usage in the domestic category of a common man is 101 to 200 units per month. That rate is 30 per cent more as compared to other states. We are not concerned about the hike in rates for industrial usage, we are concerned about the common man. The rate for the domestic category is around Rs 8 per unit now, while in other states, it is between Rs 4 to 6. Also, they are now increasing the fixed charges by 110 to 182 per cent for the same category,” he further said.

“Earlier, for people using between 100 to 200 units, the charges were Rs 65 per month, now they are increasing up to Rs 140 per month. So suppose a person using around 100 units of electricity and got a bill of Rs 400 earlier, now, he will be charged around Rs 500. So, the bill will increase by 20 per cent. For a person using between 100 to 300 units of electricity, the charges are being raised from Rs 65 to 170. Why should we pay for the inefficiency of MSEDCL? Our charges are almost double the charges of what they are in Mumbai. They are comparing according to their convenience, why aren’t they comparing with the charges in Goa? They are just trying to prove that whatever they are doing is excellent, which actually is otherwise,” Velankar further added.

“Our demand is that we want the fixed charges according to the Mumbai rates for the whole State,” Velankar said.

Presently, industrial power in the State is 25 to 35 per cent higher than all the neighbouring states. The proposed hike will be more than one and a half times. Rates of agricultural pumps are going to be higher by 2.7 to 5 times compared to the electricity tariff of May 2015.

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