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Mumbai suburbs face prospect of power cuts

Recent closure of Reliance Power’s plant and the ensuing cascading results expected to hit Mumbaikars.

Unlike many parts of nation, Mumbaikars show pride in the fact that they revel in 24x7 power. However, that distinctive status is now below danger as Reliance Power’s 600 MW Butibori plant near Nagpur, which gives electrical energy to Adani Electricity Mumbai Ltd (AEML), has been shut since mid-January. AEML, which gives power to Mumbai suburbs, is now being forced to buy from the open marketplace to serve its shoppers.

However, one analyst fears that, with the summer time and elections approaching, power in the open marketplace is not going to most effective change into costlier, but also get tough to supply.

AEML has an settlement with Vidarbha Industries Power Ltd (VIPL), a subsidiary of Reliance Power, for provide of 600 MW at Rs 4.38 according to unit.

After the closure of VIPL’s one 300 MW unit in the last week of December and some other 300 MW unit in mid-January, AEML approached the open marketplace, paying between Rs three.50 and Rs 4 according to unit.

The VIPL plant used to be closed due to non-availability of coal, unpaid dues against Coal India Ltd (CIL), and a court case it's combating with CIL.

VIPL has filed a petition before the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) not easy tariff hike from AEML, claiming that, because it does not have coal linkage from CIL, it's having to buy power via e-auction, where it has to pay the next value. The MERC is yet to come to a decision at the petition.

In the run-up to five state elections in November last 12 months, which coincided with the Rabi season, according to unit electrical energy value on exchanges reached virtually Rs 18.

It used to be a equivalent tale forward of the 2014 Lok Sabha election, when the price touched Rs 9 according to unit.

The analyst said: “In the run-up to elections, all state governments factor directives to distribution corporations to buy power at whatever price to be had. Here we are talking about nationwide elections. State governments will inform corporations to make sure there are no cuts. This is not going to most effective make power costlier, however scarcer too. In this kind of state of affairs, Mumbaikars may face power cuts.”

Ashok Pendse, designated shopper representative with MERC, said: “Buying power in the open marketplace can't be an answer for long-term energy safety of Mumbai. AEML must take steps against finding everlasting alternative solutions to the present disaster. If they don’t take pressing steps, Mumbaikars will probably be careworn with expensive power.”

An AEML spokesperson said: “AEML is making exchange arrangements to make sure our shoppers are supplied with uninterrupted power provide. We want to guarantee our shoppers that their pleasure remains our number one center of attention.”

An electronic mail sent to Reliance Power’s spokesperson remained unanswered at the time of going to press.

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