By: Pune Pulse
November 17, 2023
Pune : A controversy erupted after the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) refused the demand to reduce the excavation charges of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL). MSEDCL has taken the stand that if the PMC increases the digging fee, it will ultimately be recovered from the electricity bill of the consumers.
The impact of this dispute will now fall on the consumers and they will have to bear the brunt of the increased electricity bills.
As per further information, on October 20, the Roads Department of the PMC proposed new rates for excavation and electric cable laying before the Standing Committee. In it, the reason given was that the loss was due to the ongoing work by MSEDCL. This proposal was approved.
Earlier, the PMC was charging Rs 2,350 per running meter for excavation and cable laying from MSEDCL. Now, the PMC has decided to charge Rs 6,096 per running meter from MSEDCL.
Every year before and after the monsoon, the municipality allows different companies to lay underground cables. These include private and semi-government companies such as Mahavitaran, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, Tata Communication, Tata Telecom, Maharashtra Natural Gas Limited, and Reliance. Private companies charge Rs 12,192 per running meter. However, the lowest rate was charged by MSEDCL for the last several years at their request.
Vikram Kumar, PMC Commissioner stated that a proposal for new rates for excavation and laying of electric cables was pending in the standing committee as the PMC was facing losses due to ongoing digging by MSEDCL. It has been decided to increase the rate in the recently held meeting.
Rajendra Pawar, Chief Engineer, Pune Division of MSEDCL, said that they had earlier sent a letter to the Municipal Commissioner requesting them not to maintain the excessive extraction rate or charge more. However, the municipal corporation has refused to reduce the fee. Due to the increase in fees, the cost of distribution will increase. MSEDCL is not able to bear the burden of this increased cost. Therefore, this cost will be recovered from the electricity bill of the customers. The electricity bill is likely to increase by around two per cent.