MSEDCL threatens power tariff hike

...If PMC charges more for road-digging

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has threatened to scrap phase-II of its infrastructure development project and warned of levying additional charge from consumers following the Pune Municipal Corporation's (PMC) go ahead to increase road-digging charges from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,600 per metre.

The PMC standing committee last week approved the civic administration proposal that would enable the PMC to charge Rs 2,600 per metre instead of Rs 1,900 per metre for laying down open cables, Rs 3,600 per metre instead of Rs 2,900 per metre for laying down cables covered with PVC pipes and Rs 4,500 per metre instead of Rs 3,800 per metre for laying cables covered with RCC.

Highly placed sources in MSEDCL warned that the power tariff will be increased and consumers will have to pay between 10-15 paise per unit more so that the utility is able to bear the costs PMC would levy.

MSEDCL's project of laying 860 km of high-tension and low-tension underground cables is likely to cost Rs 95 crore while in the second phase the plan of laying 250 km of underground cables is estimated at Rs 27.50 crore. Under the restructured accelerated power development and reforms programme, the MSEDCL's proposal was to lay 2,685 km of cables in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad. Due to increase in digging costs, MSEDCL officials have pointed out that the proposal is likely to be shelved.

MSEDCL cannot bear the extra cost due to the revised digging charges and city's 14 lakh consumers will have to bear the expense. For the purpose, MSEDCL is planning to send an application seeking permission from the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) to levy additional charges.

The distribution company plans to invest Rs 370 crore in the second phase of infrastructure development in the Pune zone. This requires laying down of underground cables in urban and rural areas apart from other works like installation of additional transformers.

... contd.

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