Taking the cue from the Delhi government’s decision to cut power tariff by 50%, Congress MP from North Mumbai Sanjay Nirupam has urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to reduce power tariff in the city.
“The pattern of power distribution in Delhi and Mumbai is pretty identical. Private companies have been given the responsibility at both places and they have always raised tariffs without considering the people,” Mr. Nirupam told The Hindu.
In his letter to Mr. Chavan on Wednesday, Mr. Nirupam said the tariff should be substantially reduced for those whose consumption was less than 500 units a month.
“I am pained to point out that in the past 10 years the power tariff in Mumbai has increased by around four times in all sectors. The possibility that some sort of cartelisation exists cannot be ruled out since both companies supplying power have been increasing the tariff from time to time under one pretext or the other,” wrote Mr. Nirupam. Tata power and Reliance Infrastructure are the two companies that supply power to the city.
Mentioning that the Delhi government’s decision would benefit lakhs of middle class people and slum dwellers, he even threatened to launch an agitation against his own party’s government if the demands were not met with.
Pointing out that regulatory authority was not even consulted before taking the decision in Delhi, he wrote that the Maharashtra government had been blaming the authority all these years whenever the issue of reducing tariff came up. Mr. Nirupam said that if need be, instead of power companies becoming the beneficiaries of subsidies given on power tariff, it should directly be transferred to the consumers.
Mr. Nirupam asked the government to investigate the cost structure and pricing mechanism adopted by power distribution companies in Mumbai. He again cited the example of the Delhi government, which has ordered a CAG audit of companies.
Aam Adami Party leader Prashant Bhushan, who addressed a press conference here on Wednesday, said the Congress government had become insecure after his party’s victory in Delhi and was trying to copy them.
Mr. Nirupam, however, refuted the charge claiming he was not inspired by the AAP, but by the issue.
The Nationalist Congress Party, which is handling the power portfolio in the State, said the issue had been discussed two months ago.