Barely three months into operations in Mumbai city, Adani Electricity is now caught amid a political crossfire and barrage of social media complaints over alleged higher bills.
The private power distributor, however, attributed the rise in tariffs to MERC’s September 2018 tariff order. Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) is the state power regulator responsible to determine tariffs for power supply in Mumbai and other parts of the state.
Adani Electricity took over operations for power distribution in some parts of the city, through an acquisition of Reliance Infrastructure’s Mumbai distribution business in August. The company in the last one month saw a number of complaints made on social media platforms, which was later escalated by Sanjay Nirupam, President for Mumbai Congress Committee.
“Prime Minister Modi’s friend is looting Mumbaikars,” read one of the Marathi hoardings put up by the party in the suburbs of the city. The hoarding further alleged power rates rose by 50% and unit consumption shown has doubled since the new provider took over.
On Tuesday, Adani Electricity through a statement refuted these claims. “There has been an undue perception created around Adani Electricity billing by a senior political party leader through various platforms,” the company said in its statement. “ Little realizing that this refers to rates which are decided by independent quasi-judicial body MERC, after following due process of public hearing,” the statement added.
In addition to Nirupam’s comments, Adani Electricity’s social media team has also been busy attending to various complaints raised on social media platforms like twitter. Most these tweets complained of alleged higher bills compared to what was earlier charged by Reliance Infrastructure.
In August, Reliance Infrastructure completed the sale of its Mumbai distribution business which valued the business at Rs 121 billion. This is not the first time the deal has attracted consumer ire. In October, a group of consumers also approach the Appellate tribunal for electricity seeking a right to appeal against the deal. The group raised concerns over the non-transfer of land parcels along with the distribution business to Adani Electricity.