Dikshit misleading Delhiites on power supply issue: BJP

Delhi BJP accused Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit of trying to "mislead" people by coming out with a "confusing" advertisement on the issue of power supply in the city.

New Delhi: Delhi BJP on Tuesday accused Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit of trying to "mislead" people by coming out with a "confusing" advertisement on the issue of power supply in the city.

In a joint statement, Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta and Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijay Kumar Malhotra slammed Dikshit for hike in power tariff and accused her government of taking sides of the private power distribution companies.

"People of Delhi have understood the reality of the Congress government during the last 14 years. Delhi government benefited the power companies by conniving with them. Today the common man in Delhi has to spend 50 per cent of his income to pay the power and water bills," they said.

The Delhi government today came out with a full-page advertisement in a number of dailies highlighting improvement in power sector following privatisation of power distribution.

Gupta and Malhotra said the government was trying to mislead people in view of next year`s assembly polls.

"If the government is pro-people then it should have allowed the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) in 2010 to cut tariff by 23 per cent," said Gupta.

On May 4, 2010, the Delhi government, using a special power, had stalled DERC`s decision to announce the annual tariff for 2010-11 till it re-examined the demands from discoms to increase the rates.

The DERC, which was making last minute preparations to announce the new tariff next day, after receiving the government directive had indicated that it had planned to cut tariff by 20 to 25 per cent as discoms would have a surplus of around Rs 4,000 crore if the existing tariff was not changed.

Although DERC was strongly arguing for a cut in tariff, the three-member regulator, following retirement and subsequent appointment of two new members, gave indication of taking a sympathetic approach to the demands of the discoms and hiked the tariff by 22 per cent in August last year and 26 per cent in June for domestic consumers.

The government`s notification, stalling the tariff order
was quashed by Delhi High Court, describing the intervention as "absolutely unjustified, unwarranted, untenable".

In the advertisement, the Delhi government highlighted improvement in power supply following privatisation of the power distribution in 2002.

The government said loadshedding in the city has come down to 0.3 per cent against 5 per cent before privatisation. It said per capita electricity consumption in Delhi has gone up to 1450 units as against national average of 775 units.

The government said the AT&C losses have also been brought down to 15 per cent from 53 per cent in 2002.

Delhi BJP last month 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.

In the complaint filed in IP Estate Police station, the BJP alleged that as part of the "criminal conspiracy", also involving two members of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission and officials of three discoms, DERC`s move to cut the power tariff by 23 per cent in May, 2010 was stalled.


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