Other States

Free electricity for Delhiites using up to 200 units

 Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal at a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal at a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced free electricity for people consuming up to 200 units under a domestic connection. The decision, which came into effect from August 1, has been taken barely six months before Delhi Assembly elections due in February 2020.

“In Delhi, people who consume up to 200 units will not have to pay electricity bills. Their bills [will be] waived,” Mr. Kejriwal said while addressing a press conference. Those consuming 201-400 units of electricity will get about 50% subsidy, he added.

“Now people using 210 or 300 units will think that if they use under 200 units, their bill will be zero. We believe this will encourage them to save electricity,” the Chief Minister said.

Attacking the move, both the BJP and the Congress termed it an “election gimmick”. Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said the Delhi government has “looted” ₹8,500 crore from the people as fixed charge and load charge and demanded that Mr. Kejriwal refund it or else his party will “initiate a movement” against it.

The Chief Minister said around 35% of the total consumers use less than 200 units during summer and in winter, the percentage goes up to around 70. Terming the move “historic”, he claimed Delhi has the cheapest electricity rate in the country.

The Delhi Congress, however, claimed that the Aam Aadmi Party government was misleading the people on power tariff. “It is a lie that Delhi has the cheapest rates of electricity and I challenge Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders who are misguiding people. When Congress was in power, even then power tariff in Delhi was lowest in the country,” senior Congress leader Haroon Yusuf said.

Asked about the timing of the move, Mr. Kejriwal said: “When we took over, the power sector was in a bad state. We worked and slowly improved it. Since then, the DERC has been reducing rates... It was not possible earlier, as power companies’ financial state was bad. At that point, there was no question of making it free.”

(With PTI inputs)

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Printable version | Jun 26, 2022 11:51:04 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/free-electricity-for-delhiites-using-up-to-200-units/article28789468.ece