The Delhi unit of the BJP has claimed enormous discrepancies in the power sector in the city and accused the State Government of colluding with power distribution companies.
Delhi unit chief Vijay Goel on Saturday cautioned the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission that unless the party’s demands – which reflect the consumer’s needs – are addressed within the next four days, the commission will have to deal with its “consequences”.
Mr. Goel accused the Delhi Government of collectively “conniving to hike power tariff” in the city.
In a letter to DERC chairman P. D. Sudhakar, Mr. Goel has raised concerns questioning the reasons for hikes in power rates in the city and why services to consumers are not in accordance with the laid down procedures.
Comparing the rates in the city to that of other States like Gujarat, Mr. Goel said power tariff has been hiked in Delhi by a whopping 59 per cent in last two years, which is the highest increase among all States while in Gujarat the rates have been increased by only six per cent hike during the corresponding period.
Mr. Goel said that on the one hand Lt. Governor Tejendra Khanna informed the Delhi Assembly that there has been profit of Rs.30,000 crore on account of privatisation of power, on the other power tariff has been increased eight times. The DERC has also favoured a bailout package of Rs.20,000 crore for the discoms, cautioning that there could be power cuts in the city otherwise, he alleged.
“As per National Tariff Policy, there must be competition among various distribution companies so that consumers benefit. Here in Delhi, there is a monopoly as each of the three companies is distributing power in separate areas,” Mr. Goel said.
He said the consumers in the city have been compelled to pay more for power through a series of tariff hikes. “The power tariff in the city was hiked by 22 per cent in 2011 followed by 5 per cent hike in February last year. The tariff was hiked by up to 2 per cent in May last year and again by 26 per cent for domestic consumers in July last year,” he said.
He said though auditing of accounts and prudence check of the discoms at the end of every financial year is mandatory, no such exercise has been carried out since 2004-2005. The BJP leader also demanded installation of separate neutrals for electricity connection so that residual back flow could be stopped and consumers are not overcharged.
Mr. Goel said DERC must disclose the fact that in the absence of list of assets of BRPL and BYPL, how the capital expenditure and depreciation to both these discoms was allowed. He asked DERC to explain the rates at which power is purchased as per Power Purchase Agreement and on emergency basis and the source of procurement by the companies because the rates for sale of power under long-term PPA and also as per Indian Energy Exchange are much less than the rates of purchase declared by the discoms.
“Why does the DERC not follow the National Electric Policy-2005, which makes it obligatory on the part of the DERC to ensure that every house should be supplied power within the next 5 years, and the supply should be reliable and at reasonable rates?” he asked.