BJP accuses Delhi government of conspiracy in power tariff

BJP accused Delhi government of involvement in conspiracy in stalling power regulator DERC to effect a 23%cut in tariff alleging Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit "sided" with private power discoms.

Updated: Apr 01, 2013, 22:24 PM IST

New Delhi: BJP on Monday accused Delhi government of involvement in a criminal conspiracy in stalling power regulator DERC to effect a 23 per cent cut in tariff in 2010 and alleged that Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit "sided" with the private power distribution companies on the issue.
During a discussion on the issue in the Delhi Assembly, senior BJP leader Harsh Vardhan said after a five-month-long exercise, the then Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission had decided to cut tariff by 23 per cent but the government restrained it from doing so to benefit the private power distribution companies.

"It was a criminal conspiracy under which the DERC was not allowed to cut tariff by 23 per cent. After the discoms and government knew about the DERC move, they hatched a conspiracy to thwart it. There must be high-level probe into it," he said.

Rejecting the allegations, Power Minister Harun Yusuf said BJP was trying to politicise the issue ahead of the assembly polls.

"The BJP is trying to exploit the issue for political reasons which is very unfortunate," he said, replying to the discussion on rise in rates of power, water and LPG.

Accusing Dikshit of "siding" with the discoms, Vardhan alleged that after it was known that the regulator would cut tariff, a meeting of Chief Minister, top government officials and BSES executives had taken place, following which an order was issued asking the regulator not to announce new rates.

"We had filed complaints against the Chief Minister also. In the complaint, we had provided details of phone calls made to the CM by various officials after they came to know about the DERC move. There cannot be a bigger criminal conspiracy than this," he said.

The Delhi BJP in October last year had filed a police complaint against Dikshit and a number of senior bureaucrats alleging their involvement in a "conspiracy" to benefit three private power distribution companies.

Slamming the DERC, Vardhan said the regulator was functioning under influence of the Delhi government and private discoms. He also accused the discoms of deliberately not supplying power to various rural areas of Delhi and selling them at higher rates to make profit.