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Briefs & happening

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Open access could spark power tariff hike
A power tariff hike of 20 per cent is likely to affect over 1.5 crore residential and agriculture consumers across the state if open access is granted to a chunk of commercial consumers. Consumers with open access can, incidentally, opt for cheaper power from outside Maharashtra.

Around 15 lakh industrial and commercial consumers pay the state Rs 4,603 crore more than the cost of generating their share of power to subsidise domestic and agricultural users.

It is feared that if the first batch of commercial users, who consume 900 MW, move away from the state, the cost for domestic and agricultural consumers (who use up to 300 units per month) will go up by Rs 600 crore.

The hike could be up to 20 per cent if the state government fails to offer a subsidy from its own pocket, said a senior power ministry official. To counter the open access request, which has been approved by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC),the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd (MSEDCL) has reportedly demanded that commercial users pay a cross subsidy to the state.

Assault costs committee right to contest polls
In a first-of-sorts, an order passed by the Deputy Registrar’s office barred members of a Bandra CHS from contesting elections for the next five years. To make matters worse is the fact that the members are none-other-than managing committee members who’ve had to face the rap for assaulting a society member.

Complainants Debra Fernandes and husband Warren alleged the committee assaulted her when she raised objections over the committee’s functioning and accused them of perpetrating an illegal construction within the society premises. Debra had also filed an RTI application for details on the ‘illegal construction’ being carried out in the society premises, based on which the couple filed a case in consumer court and at the Deputy Registrar’s Office.

She alleged managing committee member Cheryl Misquitta, whose husband Vijay happens to be the society’s secretary, along with other committee members, assaulted her for being intrusive. Cheryl, on her part, denied the allegations and will, along with other members accused of assault, appeal against the ruling.

Deputy Registrar V S Phad issued orders barring four managing committee members - Vijay Misquitta, Bruno Pinto (chairman), Cheryl Misquitta (member), and Pinto (member) from contesting the society elections for five years.

Incidentally, Debra’s father previously owned the land on which the New Shangrila Co-operative Housing Society is built. Debra owns flats on three floors of the society.

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