Staff Reporter

Independent audit and CBI probe demanded

Delhi BJP president lays the blame on the Chief Minister

Entire privatisation process should be reviewed: Bardhan

NEW DELHI: Cutting across party lines, political leaders at a meeting here on Thursday strongly criticised the privatisation of the power distribution network in the Capital five years ago and proclaimed that the model had proved a failure.

At the meeting attended by residents’ welfare associations, activists, power engineers, trade union members, legal experts and technocrats, the participants described the Delhi privatisation model as a “total failure”.

“The all-party meeting was an attempt to evaluate the views of all stakeholders of Delhi and see if we agree on the results of the five years of privatisation. Nobody expressed any satisfaction at all,” said Sanjay Kaul of People’s Action who conducted the meeting.

“Three proposals were put to the floor and all of these were passed unanimously,” he said.

Delhi BJP president Harsh Vardhan spoke disparagingly about almost every aspect of the deal, be it service, billing, fast running meters or power cuts. He pinned the blame on the Chief Minister and accused her of ignoring the consumers’ interests.

Communist Party of India general secretary A. B. Bardhan praised the RWAs for having taken the fight to the streets and said a similar agitation must be undertaken to have the entire privatisation process reviewed beginning with the Electricity Act, 2003, which he described as fundamentally flawed.

Congress MLA S.C. Vats said his work as Public Accounts Committee Chairman was to give answers to the citizens about the truth behind the privatisation deal. He said the Electricity Act, 2003, must be reviewed.

The meeting ended with an agreement to put pressure on the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission to review the performance of the past five years through an independent audit and force the Government though agitation to order a CBI probe into the entire deal.