Inflated power bills: MNS says make panel report public

The MERC had sought an explanation from the company for the sudden increase in electricity bills based on media reports and consumer complaints. DH file photo

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Saturday demanded that the report of the two-member fact-finding committee (FFC) appointed by the MERC over the allegedly inflated power bills of Adani Electricity be made public.

In a statement issued here, MNS spokesperson Avinash Abhyankar said the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) should reveal details of the members of the committee and whether they were related to any private electricity company or not.

"The MERC has asked Adani Electricity Mumbai Ltd (AEML) that if its power rates have been over 15 per cent of the average use, the meters should be checked and excess money should be refunded with interest. While this order is welcome, we oppose this figure of 15 per cent. How did the 15 per cent hike occur and who approved it?" he asked.

Abhyankar said his party will continue to protest against the AEML until it refunds the excess bill amount to consumers and withdraws its rate hike.

The MNS spokesperson claimed that the AEML has attributed the inflated bills to its employees going on strike from August 27 to September 1.

"The company says it had to resort to average meter readings for bills as the employees were on strike. There is a billing cycle and a meter reading cycle. If the strike went on for four days, calculating the bill amount on an average consumption basis is a farce," he said.

Local MLA Ashish Shelar had met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis last week to convey people's concerns over the sudden and steep increase in power bills in suburban Mumbai, where Adani company is the electricity distributor.

On Friday, the MERC had appointed an FFC to look into the complaints of consumers and ascertain the reasons for the sudden upsurge in consumption and hike in bills of Adani's consumers in Mumbai.

The MERC had sought an explanation from the company for the sudden increase in electricity bills based on media reports and consumer complaints.

Facing the heat over high electricity bills, AEML had argued that the increase only reflected the seasonal increase in power consumption in the October-November period.

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