Last week, the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (ATEL) refused to oblige Reliance Infrastructure
, which had sought adverse remarks by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) in an order in May 2011 be removed.
The order related to Tata Power
stopping the supply of 762 Mw of power to Reliance Infrastructure, which hit the latter's consumers. While Tata Power had claimed it had warned Reliance Infrastructure earlier to ensure it made alternate arrangements, the latter said stopping supply would deprive its customers of cheap power.
Today, the power distributors got into a war of words. "The judgment passed by APTEL yet again vindicates Tata Power's contention that Reliance Infrastructure consumers were facing high tariffs due to its failure to discharge its obligation as a discom to procure power at reasonable rates and provide competitive consumer services," Tata Power said in a statement.
ATEL's decision would have no impact on the prices customers of both the utilities pay.
Later, Reliance Infrastructure had made arrangements to supply power to its customers. "Tata Power, after agreeing in writing, suddenly withdrew power meant for Reliance Infrastructure's Mumbai consumers. Reliance Infrastructure's power purchase cost is lower than Tata Power's during the entire business plan period, as approved by MERC," Reliance Infrastructure said in a response to Tate Power's statement.
In its order, MERC had said, "Reliance Infrastructure is responsible for the present situation, because of lack of planning or poor planning of its power procurement requirement and for not contracting for adequate capacity, insistence on getting 762 Mw from Tata Power and not signing for even 500 Mw in the process, not contracting for the balance requirement even now and relying on costly short-term purchases, as early as 2003; Reliance Infrastructure wanted open access for 800 Mw. So, it was well aware of the options available to it."