Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Discoms, Delhi govt duping Delhi residents:Goel

  • Delhi govt. playing hide and seek over power tariff
  • Delhi BJP warns govt over proposed power tariff hike

New Delhi, May 28:  The Delhi government and power distribution companies in Delhi are blackmailing the common people as they know people can not live without power/electricity. The biggest example is that people have cut down on the basic consumption of other basic necessities just to pay the skyrocketing power bills to ensure that they retain power connections. 

It appears that as the assembly polls are approaching, the Delhi government has decided to dance to the tune of power companies putting unbearable burden on the Delhi residents. In 2011, despite stiff opposition from the people, the DERC had accepted case for regulatory assets of discoms worth Rs 6000 crore. Out of this Rs 1400 crore were raised through hike in power tariff-initially surcharge was raised by 23 per cent and subsequently another raise of 26.18 per cent followed. Now the power companies are pressing for the rest of Rs 4600 crore through another hike in power tariff. If these demands are accepted, the power tariff would go up to Rs 6/unit.

Addressing a press conference, Shri Vijay Goel, delhi BJP President today said, “In the garb of ensuring power supply during summers even at the higher cost of purchasing power , the discoms are getting ready for another jugglery of numbers. In 2011, they showed loss of Rs 6000 crore, in 2013 they have already shown loss of Rs 780 crores. This is a typicsl ploy-“Show losses, raise tariff.”

“Now the Delhi government is working hand in glove with discoms and it appears they have been assured massive price rise post-assembly polls. So much so, that the price can go upto Rs 10/unit. The Delhi government has 49 per cent stake in the companies and the government should move ahead and take charge of the situation instead of shifting blame to power companies. With 49 per cent stake, the government cannot be absolved of the responsibility. Interestingly, the DERC members are also appointed by the Delhi government and now the government is using DERC to deflect the blame. It is just like the Centre has deregulated the petrol prices but it still controls oil companies, so is the case in power sector in Delhi. So when polls are near, the prices are brought down, and prices are hiked as soon as polls are over,” Shri Goel said.

So even though Delhi government may appear to be trying to put a cap on power tariff but people may have to suffer an immediate hike of atleast 10 per cent post-polls if Congress remains in power.

The average demand in Delhi is around 4500 MW per day and the power companies have the permission to buy 50 per cent more power during peak demand. These companies buy them and then sell them to their own subsidiaries showing ‘artificial losses’. Then on the basis of these “losses” they demand hike in power tariff!

The BJP has demanded that the government must initiate following steps immediately:

·         All sign boards should be shut off after 10 pm.

·         The power companies should use the equipment to gauge peak demand in advance so that they don’t need to buy additional power putting burden of the purchase on common people.

·         The investments made by these discoms have come down by 50 per cent but DERC is evaluating them based on initial valuations and hence providing them unjustified credit and other facilities.

·         Wastage of electricity should be curbed, especially in the govt. offices.

·         An energy audit should be commissioned by Delhi govt to identify where all power is being used and in what proportions such as offices, shopping malls, markets, signboards etc.

·         Power companies should stop burdening domestic consumers for the power they purchase at higher prices for commercial and industrial undertakings.

·         Separate accounts should be maintained for sale of power to domestic, commercial and industrial units.

·         Power companies should produce power instead of buying them. For example TATA has put up a 350 MW plant in Bawana. According to initial agreements, the power companies were supposed to arrange power on their own.

·         The Delhi government should take into account the fact that often the consumers having high consumption indirectly impact the poor, residents of JJ clusters and other smaller consumers as the former’s high consumption lead to rise in prices. But the price rise affect all units. The poor should not suffer due to this discrepancy.

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