Reliance to be asked to roll back tariff hike in Mumbai

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Mumbai, Oct 7 (ANI): Following protests from various political parties, Stateovernment has decided to get the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) to order Reliance Infrastructure (Rinfra-D) to roll back the increase in power tariffs for consumers in Mumbai suburban areas of the city.

According to sources, Textile Minister and guardian minister for Mumbai's suburbs Nasim Khan, Revenue Minister Narayan Rane and Finance Minister Sunil Tatkare had taken up the issue at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, claiming that the raise in tariffs would adversely affect consumers.

They said Chief Minister Ashok Chavan had, after discussions, asked for directives to be issued to Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Minister of State for Energy Vijay Vadettiwar said directives would be issued under Section 108 of the Electricity Act, 2003, to stay the rise in tariffs.

He said a meeting of officials from the government, MERC and RInfra-D would be held in this regard later.

Earlier, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists put a huge lock in front of the Reliance Infrastructure office as a mark of protest against electricity tariff hike.

Rajkumar Purohit, President of Mumbai unit of BJP said that the agitation was a mass movement against the increased electricity tariff.

"In 2009, they had increased the price rice in the bill. There was an agitation by BJP and Shiv Sena, then the government has given stay. In this Ganpati festival again Reliance Infra (structure) has increased the rate of electricity by 33 percent," Purohit added.

"It is total exploitation by the Reliance. There are three rates of electricity, one is TATA, the other is BSES (Bombay Suburban Electric Supply) and then even Reliance had their own rates. In this Reliance have the highest rates. Within few months arrears will also come and people will have to pay rupees 10, 000 for that," said Rahul Tai, a resident. (ANI)

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