Nagpur News : The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission on Tuesday (MERC) asked the Maharashtra Airport development Company (MADC) to provide electricity to those investors, who do not want to approach Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited(MSEDCL), at concessional rates.
Although, the MERC’s directive has come as a welcome step for investors, the MADC has chosen to ignore the directive. There are several facts to the 21-page directives of MERC.
In a significant development the industries in MIHAN-SEZ have revived their hope to get the “effective and sufficient” power supply from MADC and AMNEPL as the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission has specifically issued the final order in case no:-62/2014 as per the directions issued by Hon’ble High Court in W.P. No:-1965/2014 and W.P. No:-2035/2014.
It is necessary to mention that the AMNEPL has arbitrarily stopped the power supply to the industries in MIHAN-SEZ on 16-03-2014 after daily order was passed by the MERC in case no:-62/2014. The industries in MIHAN-SEZ immediately went to the High Court and challenged the order on various grounds including the one that they were denied opportunity of hearing. The MERC conducted the hearing on 30-04-2014 and heard all the parties. The counsel for the MIHAN INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION Adv. Tushar Mandlekar vehemently submitted that…….
(i) MADC has failed in its duties as Distribution Licensee to give uninterrupted power supply to consumers as per section 42, 43 of Electricity Act 2003
(ii) MADC has requested the Commission to direct MSEDCL to supply power to the industries who have applied to MSEDCL and the selective prayer made by MADC violates Article 14 as it creates unreasonable classification among industries.
(iii) MADC is duty bound to give supply to the industries in MIHAN SEZ as per the Sections 42 and 43 of the EA, 2003, there is no necessity for issuing specific direction to any other Distribution Licensee.
(iv) MADC trying to resort to the provisions of Section 23 read with 86 (1) (b) (k) without following the mandatory provision of section 42 (5) (6) (7) by which it has mandated to create grievance redressal mechanism.
(v) The Distribution Licensee statutory obligated to supply the electricity to the consumers in its area on the request within one month of application.
It is noteworthy to mention that the MIA has argued that they were required to get the “uninterrupted power supply” from MADC being the “Developer of Sez and Distribution Licensee”. It is also noteworthy to mention that MADC has signed a “concession agreement” with AMNEPL on 07-11-2007 by which both the parties are bound to give power supply @ Rs.2.97/ per unit to the consumers in MIHAN.
It may be noted that AMNEPL and MADC were giving power to the consumers in MIHAN @ Rs.3.29/ per unit from May 2013 till April 2014 till the power was arbitrarily disconnected. The AMNEPL has disconnected the power for the reason that it was not feasible for it to supply the power at subsidized rate.
It was also stated by MADC and ABHIJEET that it is not technically possible to supply the power by two distribution licensees, but the MERC has rejected the said argument and stated that by providing specific “bus-coupler” power can be supplied to the consumers by MSEDCL and AMNEPL.
The MERC has stated in its order that there is an emergent situation as the industries in MIHAN are suffering and not getting “uninterrupted power supply” and therefore there is a necessity to issue specific interim directions u/s 86 (1) (c ) (f) and 94 of EA 2003 in the interest of justice. The MERC has specifically directed ……
“The consumers would be enabled with an option to get uninterrupted power from MSEDCL and MSEDCL should start supplying power to such consumers who have applied to it. This must be done in such a manner that such consumer not availing the option do not suffer and can continue to get power efficiently and effectively as they have been getting.”
The MERC has thus protected the interest of the MIHAN-INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION and specifically stated that industries not availing the option to go to the MSEDCL must be protected and continue to get “efficient and effective” power supply as they have been getting till normalcy is restored.
The MIA has welcomed the decision and expects the MADC AND AMNEPL to comply the order with immediate effect.