BEST continues to supply electricity in Mumbai until SC order; Tata Power expresses interest

Mar 19, 2014, 16:05 IST | Shashank Rao

Monopoly of BEST to supply electricity in Mumbai to continue until Supreme Court order comes in the days to come

Mumbai: Monopoly of BEST to supply electricity in Mumbai to continue until Supreme Court order comes in the days to come.

Another option for the 10-lakh consumers of Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) using their power cables will continue to be on hold unless the Supreme Court doesn’t pass an order.

This is what the BEST Undertaking has urged the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) on March 18 at a hearing at the World Trade Centre.

A case has been underway at the Supreme Court on the issue of Tata Power wanting to enter the island city - between Colaba to Sion/Mahim - in order to supply electricity. This was in view of getting an alternative for the consumers who shall be paying at least 15 percent more from next month as per the multi-year tariff.

On Tuesday, the General Manager of BEST OP Gupta said that the matter with the apex court is pending and decision is awaited.

BEST is recovering its Transport wing’s losses which are to the tune of nearly Rs 750 crore from the electricity bills through a component called Transport Division Loss Recovery (TDLR). This decision will allow people to know whether or not there shall be options for people to take electricity and decide tariffs. Presently Tata Power supplies 1000 MW of electricity to BEST who then distribute it to the people staying and working in offices of the island city.

Sources said that as per rules, BEST is a local power company and Tata Power cannot use the Undertaking’s network and supply power.

“Consumers are worried about BEST transport losses going up and hence electricity tariffs increasing,” said power expert Ashok Pendse.

Currently in the suburbs Tata Power either has its own line or uses Reliance Infrastructure’s cables to supply to their consumers. On this format, the MERC on March 18 blasted Tata Power for its inability to expand its network in the suburbs. The MERC members expressed their disappointment and said, “We are not happy with the way Tata Power has laid lines until now in the suburbs.”

Tata Power, whose license will expire on August 15, approached as part of renewing it and applying for expression of interest for the entire city and suburbs. Presently Tata Power claims to have around 4.5 lakh consumers, of which almost 65 percent consume less than 300 units.

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