Maharashtra power regulator orders takeover of cooperative

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 27, 2011 16:50 hrs

Mumbai, Jan 27 (IANS) The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission Thursday ordered the state's only cooperative sector power distribution company, Mula Pravara Electric Cooperative Society (MPECS), to hand over operations to a state-owned company for failing to pay up arrears of Rs.2,300 crore.

As per the order, the MPECS will be required to hand over all its operations to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL), as it has failed to pay its arrears of electricity purchase bills to the latter since 1977.

The MERC order, signed by its chairman V.P. Raja, member V.L. Sonawane and secretary K.N. Khawarey, will come into effect Feb 1, according to an official.

The MERC has also amended the distribution licence of the MSEDCL to include the existing jurisdiction of the MPECS, from next month.

The MPECS has been supplying electricity to 183 villages spread over an area of nearly 1900 square km in five sub-districts of Ahmednagar, over the past few decades.

These include Shrirampur, Rahuri, Nevasa, Sangamner and Rahata sub-districts of Ahmednagar, which have been getting electricity from the cooperative power company since 1970.

The move comes as a major political setback to the prominent Vikhe-Patil family of Ahmednagar. Balasaheb Vike-Patil from the family is a former union minister and his son Radhakrishna is a member in the state cabinet.

The family is the founder of the MPECS. The father-son duo is the prime mover of the controversial cooperative society, which has over 1.70 lakh members.

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