Mumbai, Apr 5 (PTI) Maharashtra Energy ministry has decided to privatise power distribution in three more cities- Mumbra-Kalwa, Malegaon and Akola.

Three major private players have shown keen interest to supply power in these cities, a top officer said today.

Earlier, the state government had privatised power distribution in Bhiwandi and Nagpur cities.

Mumbra-Kalwa is located in Thane district neighbouring Mumbai, Malegaon in Nashik district of north Maharashtra and Akola in Vidarbha region.

“Adani Transmission, Calcutta Electric Supply Company (CESC) and Torrent Power are interested in taking over the power distribution system in these cities,” said Arvind Singh, Principal Secretary, Department of Power.

He said the bidding process is already underway and is expected to be finalised by this June-end.

Singh said Jalgaon and Aurangabad are the two other cities where the ministry has plans to privatise power distribution.

“However, due to an agitation by unions of employees in Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Corporation (Mahadiscom), the plan was set aside,” he said.

Mumbra-Kausa and Malegaon are known for heavy recovery losses which are more than 50 per cent and 43 per cent, respectively.

“(Power privatisation) Proposal for Shil, Mumbra and Kalwa was initially floated in 2010, but none of the bidders could agree to most of the terms. Now, these three big companies have shown interest even though the record of Mumbra and Malegaon is worst,” said Singh.

Currently, the distribution franchisee model in Maharashtra is being successfully operated in certain parts of Bhiwandi by Torrent Power while Essesl Utilities-owned SND Ltd takes care of distribution franchisee for Nagpur city in three divisions of Gandhibagh, Civil lines and Mahal.

The energy department has combined Mumbra and Kalwa circle for the franchise.

“The bidders are hoping that the losses in Mumbra will be recovered from Kalwa where the recovery is quite better than Mumbra. Even if the power losses reduces from 50 per cent to 30 per cent, the franchisee will gain a profit by 20 per cent and hence the bidders have shown interest,” Singh said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.