The Communist Party of India-Marxist CPI(M) came down heavily on the State Government for imposing the surcharges on power tariff. The Congress government has failed to keep its electoral promises on power tariff made to the public, it said.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, CPI(M) city secretary Ch. Babu Rao alleged that the government once again ditched the people by levying the surcharges to the tune of Rs. 16,000 crore. It would touch Rs. 20,000 crore if next 6 months burden were to be included, The Congress party had promised the people that it would not hike the power tariff or levy any additional taxes if voted to power. Now, the Congress government has shown its true colours, he said. The surcharges far exceeded the billed amount in the city. For instance, Lakshmi Rajyam (bill no. 0249)’s consumption charges were mere Rs. 50.75. The surcharge, however, was Rs. 219.21. In another case, Nageswara Rao consumption charge was Rs. 127.10 while the surcharge was Rs. 635.69. Yet in another case, Prabhavathi (bill no. 3169) received a bill of Rs. 95.90 towards power consumption, and Rs. 183.12 towards surcharge, he explained.

The government argument that the surcharge was being levied as there was a steep escalation in power generation costs. It was unjustified, and the government cannot ask the people to cough up money for the power already consumed, he said, adding, the commoner’s life was in shambles due to the surcharges.