Farmers from Nagpur, Chandrapur, Bhandara, Gondia and Gadchiroli districts in the Vidarbha region will get three phase power supply for 12 hrs/day during day time instead of 8 hours considering the emergent need to avoid the incidences of villagers being attacked by wild animals while watering their standing crops during night hours and requirement of extra water for growing Paddy crops. The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has approved the petition by the state electricity distribution company (MahaVitaran) for the modification in the approved Load Shedding Protocol for the period from 3 December, 2022 to 31 January, 2023. MahaVitaran had already started providing daily power supply for 12 hours instead of 8 hours during the day time following the state government’s direction in its letter dated November 30, 2022.
Govt to reimburse additional financial burden bored by MahaVitaran
In the same letter, the state government has assured MahaVitaran that additional financial burden against providing three phase power supply for the proposed arrangement will be reimbursed. Accordingly, MahaVitaran worked out Rs.60.34 crore as estimated additional burden for two months and requested the state government on December 6, 2022 for immediate payment. The financial impact of such an arrangement will not be passed on to the other consumers of MahaVitaran.
MERC in its order released on January 12 said, ‘’Considering the objective and purpose cited by MahaVitaran, the Commission accords approval for the deviation from the approved Load Shedding Protocol to Agricultural consumers of Nagpur, Chandrapur, Bhandara, Gondia and Gadchiroli districts for the period from December 3,2022 to 31 January, 2023 subject to condition that financial impact of the deviation in Load Shedding Protocol shall not be passed on to consumers. In case of critical system condition, MahaVitaran is allowed to implement the existing Load Shedding Protocol of 8 hours during day and 10 hours during night on rotation basis for Agriculture Load Management (AGLM) Feeders in these districts.’’ However, the MERC has directed MahaVitaran to follow up with the state government for receipt of the additional subsidy including the arrears against previous arrangement worth ₹ 108.84 crore including ₹ 60.34 crore (due to 12 hours of power supply per day from December 3, 2022 to January 31, 2022)within two months.
Consumption during extended hours to be recorded on individual meters
In case of metered agriculture consumers, the additional consumption during the extended hours of power supply will be recorded through their meters and will be billed at the respective MERC’s approved Tariff. However, additional subsidy towards financial burden due to extra cost of power purchase due to costly power procurement from market/generators will be claimed from the state government, reads MERC order.
In case of unmetered agriculture consumers, additional consumption for the extended hours of power supply will be covered in the billing by considering 12 hrs of 3- phase power supply and approved existing demand and wheeling tariff in Rs/HP/Month and shall be billed at the proportionately increased Tariff for 12 hrs of 3-phase power supply.
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