Millennium Post

50% bill rise since Adani Power took over Mumbai discom

Mumbai: Residents of the nation's commercial capital are agitated over inflated electricity bills ever since the Adani Electricity Mumbai Ltd. (AEML) took over the city's power circle in August from the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra), reports FirstPost website. The Congress party and some consumers have taken to social media to accuse the company of increasing the bills sharply in October.

Senior Maharashtra Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam launched an all-out attack on the company for "looting" Mumbai, the website added. Calling the Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani and RInfra's Anil Ambani "friends" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nirupam said, "Instead of encouraging privatisation in an honest way, the Modi-led BJP government has created an environment where private firms are looting the common people. Initially, Anil Ambani looted the people and now Adani is doing the same. Aren't Gautam Adani and Anil Ambani close friends with Modi?"

Nirupam claimed that the electricity charges have doubled in Mumbai since the Adani group company took over power transmission in the financial capital, FirstPost reported. A section of consumers in the suburbs had even tweeted to the firm to get their meters re-checked. Adani Electricity told The Times of India that every complaint was being treated seriously, the website said.

"We have found no problem in the billing process as it has been done as per directives of the state regulatory commission," it said. "There has been a tariff revision since September. Also, consumption increases during October and citizens may be falling into a higher slab. This can result in bills being higher than that in the previous month," the report quoted an AEML source as saying.

Whereas an AEML spokesperson told India Today, that the consumer would have to take into consideration the seasonal variations while comparing the tariff charges. "Electricity tariff rates are determined by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) through a transparent process including public hearings. In Mumbai, electricity consumption increases in the month of October due to higher ambient temperature. This year (2018) electricity consumption during October was higher by about 18 percent over the preceding month(s). Consumers must compare October billing in 2018 with October of 2017, than September month of 2018. This is to take into account the seasonal variations." According to the report, the spokesperson further added, that all the talk about billing matters had "no sanctity" and was "quite baseless", FirstPost added.

"We have checked billing patterns and foreseen no change other than seasonal variations. We welcome anyone to seek clarification on any billing issue and mail to us details of a pattern change and we would facilitate a response."

Adani Electricity started billing Mumbai consumers from September and faced hiccups in the first two billing cycles itself. As per a report in The Economic Times, some consumers witnessed an increase in bills for the month of September also — which the company attributed to its inability to read meters in some areas due to "internal agitation on certain past issues" — with the assurance to pass on the credit after the meter reading is done. Two consumers confirmed to the publication that the credit was reflected in their subsequent electricity bill.

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