People anguished; RWAs, NGOs, political parties protest

Angry over the sharp increase in their power bills, resident welfare associations, non government organisations and political parties have all called for a roll back in the tariff announced on Friday by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission.

A series of protests have also been planned to drive home the consumers' discontent. Non government organisation People's Action has decided to call a Jan Sunvai (public consultation) among the RWAs of Delhi to discuss the power tariff escalation announced by the DERC.

In a statement issued here, the NGO said the Jan Sunvai will be coordinated by the United Residents Joint Action (URJA), the People's Action's RWA wing and a confederation with over 1800 RWAs across the State. Sanjay Kaul, founder of People's Action, said that while there is anger among the consumers over the manner in which the tariff escalation exercise was conducted, further action will be taken only after “comprehensive consultations with RWA members”.

URJA convenor Atul Goyal said the group has initiated talks with various stakeholders and is in favour of undertaking a campaign only after a consensus over the manner and time is arrived at by RWA constituents.

Meanwhile, Delhi unit of the Communist Party of India has announced that it will organise a protest at ITO on Monday at noon against the rise in electricity tariff. “The decision that there would be a raise in prices per unit every three months has anguished the people. This is to demand a roll back of the rise and withdrawal of the policy of frequent raise,” said Delhi CPI assistant secretary Prof. Dinesh Varshney.

Organising committee of the Delhi unit of Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) has also criticised the move and called it “unjustified”. In a statement SUCI (C) said it will impact the price of all commodities.

“DERC, while claiming to be ‘pro-consumer', in effect is dittoing irrational proposals of private companies, whose only aim is to maximise profit somehow without caring to provide uninterrupted power supply, replacing faulty meters, checking pilferage of power supply by industrialists and huge transmission losses,” the statement said.

Urging the Chief Minister to “intervene so that the hike is immediately withdrawn”, it has also sought the audit of private distribution companies by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

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