Mumbai: Congress in the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) committee on Tuesday opposed the 27.6 percent power tariff hike, approved by the regulator in the island city and demanded that the BEST administration should approach the appellate tribunal. Last week, the the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) gave its approval to BEST for raising the tariff by an average of 27.6 percent for the year 2011 2012.

The hike which would come into effect from June 1, drew criticism from the Opposition Congress and to some extent also by Shiv Sena and BJP members. Raising the issue in the BEST committee meeting which was held on Tuesday, Congress's Ravi Raja demanded that the administration should move the appellate tribunal on the power tariff hike.

"The transport service of the undertaking is available in suburbs as well and thus part of the estimated loss of Rs 280 crore incurred by BEST while providing transport service in the city should be recovered from Reliance and MSEB which supply electricity in suburbs," Raja said.

"State as well as the Central governments should intervene in the matter. Power is a basic necessity and we are facing this situation as the government is not doing anything," Sunil Ganacharya of Shiv Sena said.

BJP's Dilip Patel said that the people living below the poverty line should not face the tariff burden. The Commission has also given its nod for the recovery of Rs 659 crore revenue gap of the last three financial years (2009-10, 2010-2011 and 2011-12).

The proposed hike is likely to result in an additional revenue of Rs 761 crore.

(Agencies)

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