Power con­sumers’ body files pe­ti­tion against MSEDCL

Consumer Voice - - In The News -

The Ma­ha­rash­tra Elec­tric­ity Con­sumer Or­ga­ni­za­tion (MECO) has filed a pe­ti­tion be­fore the Ma­ha­rash­tra Elec­tric­ity Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion (MERC) chal­leng­ing the re­cent de­ci­sion of the Ma­ha­rash­tra State Elec­tric­ity Dis­tri­bu­tion Com­pany Limited (MSEDCL) ask­ing farm­ers to bear the cost of new power con­nec­tions.

MECO termed the de­ci­sion as ‘cheat­ing, loot­ing and ex­ploita­tion of the farm­ers’ com­mu­nity’. MECO pres­i­dent Pratap Ho­gade filed a pe­ti­tion be­fore MERC us­ing the pro­vi­sion of ‘non-com­pli­ance of

di­rec­tions’ men­tioned in Elec­tric­ity Act (EA), 2003. MECO also de­manded can­cel­la­tion of additional charges and pun­ish­ment to those who ap­proved such a de­ci­sion.

If found guilty, the com­pany and the rel­e­vant of­fi­cers can be pun­ished un­der sec­tions 142 and 146 of EA with a penalty of not more than one lakh ru­pees and/or im­pris­on­ment of three months.

Ho­gade said MSEDCL used to charge agri­cul­tural cus­tomers un­der the ‘out­right con­tri­bu­tion’ (ORC) cat­e­gory be­fore the im­ple­men­ta­tion of EA. “How­ever, the elec­tric­ity com­mis­sion in 2006 clearly said no such charge can be taken from cus­tomers. Our or­ga­ni­za­tion won the case in 2008. MSEDCL had stopped tak­ing ORC af­ter that. But since Fe­bru­ary 2014, it has again started tak­ing such charges with­out in­ti­mat­ing cus­tomers,” he added.

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