Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Why such an auexpected Power demand? To help Power plant Lobby?

MERC pulls up MSEDCL over seeking more power cuts


Pune, Apr 16 State power regulator Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (Merc), slammed the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (MSEDCL) at a public hearing, in Mumbai, on Monday, for seeking increased hours of power-cuts in Maharashtra. Merc has directed MSEDCL to furnish more details on the sudden increase in the demand for power . “MSEDCL has been unable to submit a proper reply on its petition for seeking more power cuts in Maharashtra. Two months ago, MSEDCL had made certain projections about the demand and supply of power. We want to know why the gap between demand and supply has increased and how the situation has changed in two months. MSEDCL is expected to file its reply on April 17. Based on the reply, Merc will issue orders in the next few days,” Pramod Deo, chairman, Merc, said.

“At a public hearing held in Pune, MSEDCL had cited non-availability of generation capacity of the Maharashtra State Power Generation Co Ltd (MSPGCL) and the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) as one of the main reasons for reduction in supply. Since many of these outages are planned, they should have been factored into the plans,” he said. The power shortage in the state has gone up to 6,800 mw from 5,500 mw, stated MSEDCL.

Deo said that the reply from MSEDCL was not very satisfactory and therefore Merc had asked the company to furnish more details. “In February 2007, Merc directed MSEDCL to regulate consumption by high transmission industrial units up to 80%, failing which the units would have to suffer a second day of load-shedding. Now MSEDCL states that the units have not been following directives,” Deo pointed out.

MSEDCL’s proposal to increase load-shedding by two-and-half hours across Maharashtra came in for flak from both the industrial and agricultural sectors.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), opposed the second day, on the grounds that it would affect the SME sector. CII stated that the move would impact larger companies since SMEs were major contributors to this sector. It said that it would talk to its members to take the Pune model to Nashik, Kolhapur, Nagpur and Aurangabad.

URL: http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=161400

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