New Delhi: Electricity rates in the national capital are likely to go up soon with Union Power Ministry turning down a request by Delhi Government to provide cheaper power to the city while private discoms are pushing for a steep hike in tariff due to increasing operational cost.
In February, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had sought financial assistance from the Union Power Ministry to insulate consumers from any possible hike in power tariff due to rise in power purchase cost.
The demand for central assistance by Dikshit came days after power regulator Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission shot off a letter to the Chief Minister seeking bailout package for the private power distribution companies as they were incurring losses.
Delhi government was not in favour of another hike in tariff as assembly elections are due in November this year.
The Centre has expressed inability to ask NTPC to supply power to Delhi at cheaper rates, sources said.
Dikshit had earlier this month indicated raising the tariff for those whose monthly consumption was on the higher side.
"I don`t think why people living in posh localities should not pay more. They should, certainly they should, they can afford to," the Chief Minister had said.
All the three private power distribution companies have been demanding hike in the tariff by up to 13 per cent.
In the letter to Dikshit in February, DERC chairman P Sudhakar had said that the regulator will be forced to hike tariff if the government fail to provide financial assistance to the discoms.
The power tariff in the city was hiked by 22 per cent in 2011 followed by five per cent hike in February last year. The tariff was hiked by up to two per cent in May last year and again by 26 per cent for domestic consumers in July last year.
The BJP and Aam Admi Party have been targeting the Delhi Government for hike in power tariff.