Tata goes to court in power supply case

Tata goes to court in power supply case
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First Published: Wed, May 19 2010. 11 47 PM IST
Updated: Wed, May 19 2010. 11 47 PM IST
Mumbai: Tata Power Co. Ltd on Wednesday moved the Bombay high court against the Maharashtra government’s decision asking it to continue supplying power to rival Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, or R-Infra, at regulated rates.
The petition also mentions the Maharashtra state load despatch centre (MSLDC) because of “its refusal in performing its statutory duty to schedule 160MW to Tata Power-Distribution”.
The move is the latest in a year-long battle between Tata Power and the Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group firm. A date for hearing the matter will be set on Monday, when the petition will be admitted.
“This move was necessitated after neither Reliance nor the state government replied to our offer on Monday,” said an executive at Vaishnavi Corporate Communications Pvt. Ltd, which handles communications for the Tata firm.
“We have not been served (a) copy of the writ petition of TPC and, therefore, (are) unable to comment specifically on the same,” an R-Infra spokesperson said.
On Monday, Tata Power proposed an arrangement to the Maharashtra government under which it would supply 200MW to R-Infra at regulated rates through June.
From July through March 2011, it offered to take over 400,000 R-Infra consumers needing lesser than 100 units a month, and offered to subsidize the switching charges.
“However, neither the government nor Reliance replied to the offer,” the representative from Vaishnavi said.
The state government had last week directed Tata Power to continue supplying 360MW to R-Infra at regulated rates.
Tata Power has said it cannot do so as it has signed a power purchase deal for 100MW with Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking and for 160MW with its own distribution firm.
“The recommendation of GoM (government of Maharashtra) supports an inefficient distribution licensee who has repeatedly failed to fulfil its obligation to arrange power for its consumers as stipulated under the Electricity Act 2003,” Tata Power said in a statement.
“We are also distressed that MSLDC is not performing its statutory duty to schedule 160MW to Tata Power-Distribution under the pretext that the matter has been referred by the state government to MERC (Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission),” it said, adding that the distribution business was suffering an additional financial burden of about Rs60 lakh per day because of this.
State energy secretary Subrat Ratho said the government has forwarded Tata Power’s suggestions to MERC.
joel.r@livemint.com
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First Published: Wed, May 19 2010. 11 47 PM IST