Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP govt keeps poll promises; halves power tariff, gives 20K litres free water
Eleven days after coming into power in Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government on Wednesday slashed power tariff by 50 percent for consumption up to 400 units per month and 20,000 litres of free water per household every month that would cost the exchequer around Rs 1,670 crore annually.
New Delhi: Eleven days after coming into power in Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government on Wednesday slashed power tariff by 50 percent for consumption up to 400 units per month and 20,000 litres of free water per household every month that would cost the exchequer around Rs 1,670 crore annually.
The Delhi government's decision will benefit around 90 percent of Delhiites, announced Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia here after a Cabinet meeting.
The Cabinet meeting was presided over by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The cut in tariff and the free water scheme will be effective from Sunday (March 01).
"The reduction in power tariff will benefit 36,06,428 families, which is around 90 percent of the city's population," Sisodia said, adding that those consuming over 400 units would have to pay the full bill. Water tariff will also be charged if the consumption limit exceeds 20,000 litres.
After the announcement, Kejriwal took to Twitter to assure that he would fulfil other poll promises too.
जो कहा सो किया। बिजली हाफ रेट पर और पानी मुफ्त किया। बाकी वादे भी पूरे करेंगे। बस आप अपना साथ बनाये रखियेगा।
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 25, 2015
Sisodia also said that around 18 lakh families will be able to reap the benefits of free water and informed that the Delhi Jal Board has been directed to speed up the process of setting up infrastructure to provide water to colonies which do not have pipelines.
The Deputy Chief Minister said the free water is being extended to group housing societies as well and all the consumers under the scheme will not require to pay any other charges including the sewerage charge. In the free water scheme announced by the first AAP government, the group housing societies were kept out.
On free power scheme, Sisodia said the government will review power rates after Comptroller and Auditor General of India completes audit of the accounts of the power discoms and submits its report.
Earlier, the Chief Minister had met Comptroller and Auditor General Shashi Kant Sharma and discussed the status of scrutiny of finances of the private power distribution companies by the auditor which was ordered by the AAP government in its first stint.
The power subsidy scheme will cost the government Rs 70 crore for the month of March and a total of Rs 1,427 crore for the next financial year.
Sisodia said relief in electricity bills will continue even in the eventuality of any tariff hike by Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission.
For the water scheme, Rs 20 crore will be required for March and a total of Rs 250 crore has been set aside for 2015-16. This estimate includes the cost of installing more meters to allow more people to get the benefit of piped water.
The benefit of the water scheme will be made available to the consumers having metered connection.
"We do not make false promises. That is why today we decided to provide major relief to the citizens of Delhi. We have delivered on the promises," Sisodia said.
Cutting power tariff and providing free water were major election promises of AAP which had won a whopping 67 out of 70 seats in the Assembly polls earlier this month.
Officials said per unit of power from 0-200 slab will cost Rs 2 per unit while it will be Rs 2.97 per unit in the 201-400 slab. The rate for 401-800 slab will remain at Rs 7.30 per unit.
The city has seen a series of hike in power tariff in the past few years.
The tariff was hiked by 22 percent in 2011 followed by five percent hike in February 2012. The tariff was increased by up to two per cent in May 2012 year and again by 26 percent for domestic consumers in July 2012.
It was hiked by up to three percent in February 2013 and again by five percent in August last year. It was again enhanced up to seven per cent in November last year.
Attacking the BJP, Sisodia said the the ruling party at the Centre did not show any interest in solving problems faced by people of Delhi during President's Rule.
"Today is an important day for the aam aadmi (common man). We are happy to announce that as promised, we are slashing rates of electricity by half and will provide free water," he said.
(With Agency inputs)