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Tata Power too will be forced to pay up charges later: BEST general manager Om Prakash Gupta

Saturday, 10 May 2014 - 6:35am IST | Agency: dna

With the Supreme Court giving an order ending Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking's monopoly in the island city, several Mumbaikars are waiting for the application forms to come out to apply for Tata Power. This also means the Undertaking's revenue will take a hit as its transport division heavily relies on the profits from its power wing. dna speaks to Om Prakash Gupta, BEST general manager, on how will it affect the finances and upkeep of BEST's fleet of buses.

How will migration of BEST's consumers to Tata Power affect the public undertaking's revenue?
Even if consumers opt for Tata Power, it should not affect our revenue, this is because of the Cross Subsidy Surcharge, which the consumers who have migrated will have to pay.

Currently, BEST manages its loss-making transport division by pumping in profits from electricity wing. Won't the overall losses of BEST increase?
As said, as far as the consumers pay Cross Subsidy Surcharge while transferring to Tata Power it doesn't affect our revenues or managing the show. If the situation changes tomorrow, we will have to look for options and ways out.

Won't the transport division suffer in providing quality services?
We are already working towards reducing losses for the transport wing. Give me options to generate revenue for it so that it does not remain under losses.

Isn't it obvious that a majority of around 11 lakh power consumers will shift to Tata Power as their prices are much cheaper than those of BEST?
During the initial time frame, everything looks rosy, but as time passes, costs increase. Tata Power will have to lay power cables across the island city. This involves capital expenditure, and, eventually, the cost of it will have to be borne by the migrant power consumers.

The high-end users will be among the first to move out leaving behind low-end users with BEST.
They can't go for only those consumers who consume power above 500 units. There is an order that they will have to take even low-end (between 0-300 units) consumers. Because of Tata Power coming into the picture, low-end consumers will benefit — if they want we will facilitate the shift to Tata Power. Moreover, if desired, we will also allow our power cables to be used or shared providing them with electricity till the time their cable network is in place. This will also attract payment of Wheeling Charges every month, which we will get.

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