Maharashtra discom says no burden of extra power purchase on consumers

Nagpur: MSEDCLconsumers need not fear about paying surcharge to recover cost of extra powerpurchase done in the past three months to mitigate load-shedding.

Calculations done by MSEDCL show that the average rate of extra power purchase was Rs 3.89 per unit, which is well within the cap of Rs 4 per unit imposed by Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC).

MSEDCL was forced to go for extra power purchase because its power suppliers, including Mahagenco, were not supplying contracted quantum due to coal shortage. The acute shortage of fuel had hit private as well as state-run plants.

An MSEDCL official admitted that discom had filed a petition in MERC seeking to remove the cap of Rs4 per unit on extra power purchase. “The rate of power in September and October was Rs 5.62 per unit on an average and Rs 9.37 per unit during peak load hours. The average rate of power available on short-term bilateral basis was Rs 5.50 per unit. We had no option but to seek removal of the cap,” he said.

The official further said that despite high rates planned, power purchase by MSEDCL ensured that the average rate did not exceed Rs 4 per unit. “ In fact, the company never purchased power costing above Rs 4 per unit,” he added.

In order to prevent heavy burden on consumers, MSEDCL had preferred load-shedding in high-loss areas in August and September instead of buying power at exorbitant rates. From October, it started buying 1,450 MW on short-term basis, which ended load-shedding. This power purchase was reduced as soon as availability from regular sources increased.

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