Members of the opposition in the BEST committee boycotted the annual budget discussion on Monday afternoon. "BEST has already achieved a surplus revenue after effecting tariff hikes for the current year,'' said committee member and Congress leader Ravi Raja. "This new proposal will mean a hike of between 25% and 40% for the average residential consumer.''
The undertaking had proposed an overall tariff hike (which includes residential households, institutions and industrial and high-end commercial users like malls and multiplexes among others) of up to 56% in 2009-10.
The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) had allowed it to go ahead with an average tariff hike of 9%. for residential categories; however, this meant a hike of between 25% and 40% for residential consumers consuming up to 300 units.
"We don't want to be part of a budget which puts the burden on the consumer. We do not support this proposal which will end in a tariff hike,'' Raja said.
The BEST Undertaking has also proposed to install new power transformers and set up more transformers in order to meet power distribution demands. Some of the areas where transformers will be replaced or new ones installed are Tardeo, Worli, Prabhadevi, Byculla, Morarji Mills, Mazgaon, Wadala, Hutatma Chowk, Esplanade and Masjid.