SoBo electric bills will rise from September 1

Aug 29, 2013, 02:51 IST | Shashank Rao

While suburbanites will be insulated from the tariff hike, BEST consumers in south Mumbai will see electricity prices rise by 12 per cent in next three days

Living in South Mumbai comes at a price. From September 1, Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) consumers will pay more, as the undertaking is hiking prices.

BEST officials said that power bills would be increased by 12 per cent this year (2013-14), and will subsequently rise by 11 per cent for the next two years (2014-15 and 2015-16).

As per the new annual revenue requirement (ARR) passed by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) yesterday, there would be a considerable hike in tariff for next three financial years till 2016.

BEST has around 10-lakh consumers, out of which more than 75 per cent comprise residential consumers.

BEST officials said that the region’s consumption demand has surged with the use of air-conditioners, television sets, expensive lights, chandeliers and high-tech music systems. Sources in BEST said that from September 1 onwards all those consuming over 300 units but less than 500 units will have to pay Rs 7.79 per unit. Presently, consumers pay Rs 6.80 per unit. Similarly, all those who consume over 500 units would be charged Rs 9.85 per unit against the prevalent Rs 8.71 per unit.  

Bus fare next?
With the city already reeling under rising commodity price rises, residents may have to shell out more for their bus travel in case diesel and CNG prices are hiked. “As of now, there wouldn’t be any fare hike. But, if the Centre continues to hike diesel prices, then we will be forced to increase our bus fares,” said Nana Ambole, BEST chairman. There is speculation that diesel prices are expected to rise by around Rs 6 in the coming days. BEST operates around half its fleet on diesel. Currently, the undertaking is rationalising its bus fleet, reducing it to around 4,200 buses in the days to come. 

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