Agitation against power tariff to intensify: BJP

With the summer setting in, politics in the national capital has once again come to revolve around power and water issues.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal has already declared an indefinite hunger strike from March 23 demanding roll back of power tariffs. Now, the BJP on Saturday announced gherao of the office of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) on March 21 if it does not give “satisfactory reply” to the questions raised by the party regarding submission of alleged “fudged data of the distribution companies”.

The DERC recently asked the private power distribution companies (Discoms) to submit its annual revenue requirement (ARR). Following this, power tariff will be hiked depending upon the projected expenditure.

“The power distribution companies in Delhi are so powerful that a common man can get no justice at any available platform. We have now decided to take our fight against this government which is conniving with these companies to the street. We will gherao the DERC office if it does not give us satisfactory reply to the questions that we have raised,” said Vijay Goel, BJP Delhi state president, at the party headquarters. He further said during the last two years, tariff has been increased by only six per cent in Gujarat whereas power tariffs during the same period has been increased by 59 per cent in Delhi.
Power tariff in the city was hiked by 22 per cent in 2011, followed by five per cent in February 2012. This was followed by a hike of two per cent in May, 26 per cent in July and three per cent last month.

Goel alleged that DERC was hiking tariff without carrying out scrutiny of the accounts of Discoms and in violation of various provisions of the Electricity Act, National Electricity Policy and National Tariff Policy.

“According to Section 62 of the Central Electricity Act, 2003, power tariff should not be increased more than once a year. But last year, DERC unilaterally, despite objections from activists, changed the slab twice. Due to this, people consuming more than 400 units of power had to pay more. How was it allowed against this provision?” questioned Goel.
Asked whether the AAP and the BJP should join hands to start an agitation on the issue, senior BJP leader Vijay Jolly said being the main opposition party, the BJP welcomes anyone who wants to stand with them on the issue.

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