CM directs energy minister to probe Adani electricity issue
mid-day impact: After this paper's reportage, MERC asks Adani Power to provide explanation within 24 hours
The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has asked Adani Electricity Mumbai Ltd's distribution company (AEML-D) for an explanation within 24 hours on excessive billing for suburban power supply. MERC has taken cognisance of mid-day's extensive reportage on the issue.
THE notice was issued to Anil Sardana, chief executive officer of Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited (AEML), on December 4 following instructions by MERC Chairman Anand Kulkarni.
Kulkarni told mid-day that he has taken suo motu action in this regard. "MERC has not received any directive or communication from the government. I read the news reports and then decided to seek an explanation from the company within 24 hours," he said.
The regulatory body has asked for facts of the matter and the steps taken by AEML to remedy the situation. It said in its notice that the average tariff increase approved in its order for 2018-19 was around 0.24 per cent, to be applicable from September 1, 2018. "However, from media reports, it is observed that large sections of AEML's consumers are agitating against the excessive electricity bills they have been receiving recently. Further, there are complaints about electricity bills being issued based on average energy consumption instead of actual meter reading," said the notice, signed by MERC executive director Dr Rajendra Ambekar. mid-day has a copy of the show cause notice.
"The commission has taken serious note of these reports highlighting consumer grievances with respect to the surge in their electricity bills, which is not commensurate with the marginal hike in the tariff approved by the commission," the notice said. After the huge public outcry and BJP leader Ashish Shelar's intervention, CM Devendra Fadnavis had directed energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule to conduct an inquiry in the matter on Saturday. An AEML spokesperson said, "We have received the communication from Hon'ble MERC and shall be making our submissions as per the directions of the Hon'ble Commission."
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