MERC puts 300 units cap for switchover from RInfra to Tata Power
MDT/PTI 24 August 2012

Only those residential category consumers whose average monthly consumption over the previous 12 months is up to 300 units a month, shall be eligible to changeover from Reliance Infra to Tata Power, the MERC said

Mumbai: Electricity regulator Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) in an order said consumer migration from Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) to Tata Power Co (TPC) will be allowed only for residential customers using up to 300 units a month, reports PTI.
"Consumer changeover will be allowed from RInfra to Tata Power only for the residential category of consumers and that too only for the consumers who consume electricity up to 300 units a month," MERC said in the order.
RInfra had filed a petition before MERC seeking relief on account of certain issues affecting its customer base and financial viability due to switchover by consumers to Tata Power.
"The Commission has come to the conclusion that there is a need to intervene in the manner of changeover and switchover of consumers, as being undertaken by the parties.
"There is a need to calibrate the migration of consumers from one licensee to another, to ensure a level- playing field and also to protect the interests of low-end consumers being supplied electricity in the common area of supply between RInfra and TPC," the order said.
"For identifying the target segment for consumer changeover, only those residential category consumers whose average monthly consumption over the previous 12 months is up to 300 units a month, shall be eligible to changeover from RInfra to TPC." 
However, the regulator noted the restriction shall not apply to pending applications for changeover, irrespective of consumer category and consumption slab, which will be processed as per the earlier protocol approved in the interim order dated 15 October 2009 and changeover for eligible consumers shall be done in a smooth manner. 
"This order would help 22 lakh low end residential consumers of suburban Mumbai. Owing to inadequate cross subsidy, many high end consumes, who were subsidising low end consumers and keeping the tariffs low, were migrating," the RInfra spokesperson said.
The electricity regulator had observed that for all consumers, who have changed over before the order or who have already applied and are eligible for changeover, the supply will be given by Tata Power using the RInfra network till such time as Tata Power develops its own distribution network in the area.
"The MERC has maintained our right to switch consumers to our wires and also suggested parallel network in 11 clusters for direct consumers, which is a positive development. Tata Power is studying the order and would always be happy to serve the customers with fairness and transparency," Tata Power statement said further.
The Commission in its order had said it would monitor the progress of consumer addition by Tata Power (switchover and new connections) on quarterly basis, and both RInfra and TPC would be required to submit the desired information for every quarter.
RInfra supplies power to Mumbai's suburbs and surrounding areas like Mira Road and Bhayander in adjoining Thane district. Tata Power and state-run utility BEST cater to consumers in South Mumbai with the former also supplying in the suburbs.
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