Inflated Electricity Bills: Maharashtra Minister Nitin Raut Hints at 'Diwali Gift'
File photo of Maharashtra Minister Nitin Raut.
Maharashtra's Energy Minister Nitin Raut on Monday hinted at a major relief to electricity consumers facing the issue of inflated power bills, saying a Diwali gift is in the offing. He also asked Tata Power to increase its power generation capacity to avoid instances like the October 12 electricity outage across the megapolis and added that two units of the private sector power producer are shut at present.
Raut was speaking to reporters during a visit to Tata Powers generation facility here following the outage. It can be noted that a slew of users, including celebrities, had complained about high bills during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
Asked about the issue of inflated power bills, Raut said his department has sent proposals to the Finance Department seven times. Finally, it seems to have borne some success as 'Matoshree' (private residence of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray) called him earlier in the day about it, he said.
The file was sent to the Finance Department on Sunday night, he added, conceding that he does not know if Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who oversees the portfolio and is currently recuperating from COVID-19, has gone through it. "I think there should not be any doubt why this should not be a Diwali gift," he added.
Meanwhile, Raut asked Tata Power officials to up their generation capacity, reminding that it was the same company which had built the islanding system way back in 1981 but the current output is below the required levels. The financial capital needs to be made self- sufficient when it comes to power requirements so that all the demand is met from within the city itself, he said.
Raut said there is a lack of communication between all stakeholders in the power sector, including power transmission, generation and distribution companies, and asked everybody to work in tandem. He also offered a space for all private sector producers in the State Load Dispatch Centre (SLDC) in suburban Mumbai for easy coordination.
The minister is set to visit Adani Electricity Mumbais facilities on Tuesday as part of his efforts to assess the ground situation following the October 12 power fiasco, an official statement said.