DERC colluding with govt, says BJP

Slamming the Delhi government for unreasonably high power bills, Delhi state BJP president Vijay Goel fired a salvo at the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), the power regulator, for colluding with the Dikshit government in increasing power bills.

Without overtly expressing solidarity for Kejriwal’s “disobedience movement”, the opposition party tried to strike a chord with the capital’s electorate on Saturday by calling the electricity bills “inflated”.

Goel alleged on Saturday that the DERC was acting in collusion with the power distribution companies at the behest of the Sheila Dikshit-run government.
Goel said the commission had failed to take action against the power discoms despite the companies flouting the licence norms.

“According to the terms of agreement, all the three power distribution companies had rights to distribute electricity in entire Delhi so that there could be competition amongst the companies. And power may be supplied at cheap rates like the mobile services,” Goel said. “But the companies are catering in exclusive areas.

The commission‘s argument that the companies are purchasing electricity from the same source at the same rate and are allowed to sell at uniform rate, is baseless.”
“The statement of the DERC is contrary to the Central Electricity Act 2003, National Tariff Policy, 2005 and National Electricity Policy, 2005. There is provision for competition amongst the companies in these policies,” he added.

The BJP leader said power discoms in Mumbai are catering to the entire city and consumers have benefitted from it. “The truth is that many consumers changed their company as they were dissatisfied with the services of their previous discom,” said Goel.
“The DERC chairman, however, said the experiment has failed in Mumbai.”
He added that the power companies showed profit in their balance sheet submitted to Power Finance Corporation and showed losses in the balance sheet submitted to the DERC.

He said the commission has failed to act despite admitting mistake in appointment of consultant of the discoms.

Goel added that the power tariff in Delhi has increased by 59 per cent during the last two years, whereas in Gujarat it increased only by 6 per cent during that period.
Disobedience movement

Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party issued a statement saying that over five lakh people have already registered to support the party’s call to not pay “inflated” electricity and water bills. “The per day figure has continuously increased during the last week. On Friday, a total of 1,36,234 people expressed their solidarity to the civil disobedience movement launched by Aam Aadmi Party,” the statement said. “The total number of people who have extended support has touched a total of 5,11,274 in the past seven days.”

AAP activists said they received maximum registration on Friday from people living in north-west Delhi, followed by north-east Delhi.

“In both these areas, more than 25,000 people pledged not to pay their bills in a single day. Next in line are south Delhi and west Delhi areas, where more than 20,000 people signed protest letters to Sheila Dikshit,” the party added.

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