Jahangirpuri residents protest against power cuts

Jahangirpuri residents from G and H blocks were out on the streets protesting against rampant power cuts and exorbitant water bills on Tuesday.

Residents alleged that despite sufficient electricity supply, North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL), a joint venture between Tata Power Company and the state government, is initiating power cuts for no reason in the area.

“There used to be no electricity for almost six hours a day. So, we wrote a letter to the chief minister’s office on Friday last informing her about the issue of unnecessary power cuts, especifically in these two blocks of Jahangirpuri. Since then the cuts have reduced but we are not sure if the situation will remain the same. We are protesting against the company’s malpractices,” said Mohan Arya, resident of Jahangirpuri and a civil rights activist.

At least 100 people walked towards NDPL’s office shouting slogans and burnt an effigy outside NDPL’s office in Jahangirpuri, Block A.

“The government is playing with people’s sentiments. The government holds 49 per cent stake in the company but does nothing for the citizens. We are paying higher electricity bills compared to south and north Delhi and face maximum power cuts. It seems as if the two entities are working together to exploit the common man,” said Apoorv Misra, member of United Residents Joint Action, Delhi.

Jahangirpuri residents are paying Rs 3.5 per unit for 200 units, Rs 4 per unit for consumption of above 200 units and Rs 6 per unit for utilisation of over 400 units.

Widow Chanchal Rani has two sons, one of whom is deaf and dumb. She lives in a two-storey house and pays an electricity bill of Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 and water bill of around Rs 1,500 per month. “We are living on my husband’s pension. The bill is more than the pension amount. It has become difficult for us to survive,” she said.

Zahir, an local activist said the water and electricity bills vary and increase every month.

“The government has the authority to set a uniform rate for electricity and water but the officers do not interfere because of their vested interests. According to the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission’s rule, companies providing electricity have to specify the number of power cuts in a month in their bills. But NDPL does not do that because they will be fined for the same.”

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