Power consumers’ body files petition against MSEDCL
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.