Vadodara: The Maha Gujarat Janata Party (MJP)
has appealed farmers across the state not to pay electricity
bills and served an ultimatum to the Gujarat government
demanding withdrawal of 300 per cent hike in agricultural
power tariff, effective from September 1, 2011.
MJP President Gordhan Zadaphiya told PTI today that the
week-long ultimatum was served to the Gujarat government
"Our party has asked the farmers not to make payment of
electricity bills based on new horse power based tariff, to
four power distribution companies promoted by the Gujarat Urja
Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL)," he said.
In support of his statement, Zadaphiya quoted a circular
of October 16 issued by these companies stating the new fixed
power rate per horse power (HP) fixed at Rs 175 for upto 5 HP
(from Rs 60) and Rs 21,000 (from Rs 8,500) for 10 HP and more.
He also criticised Gujarat Energy Minister Saurabh Patel
for issuing a statement on Tuesday describing stories on 300
per cent hike on agricultural power rate as a venomous lie.
"If it is so, then Patel must withdraw the circulars
issued by four power distribution companies in the state,"
The MJP chief pointed out that the circular does not
mention anything about the subsidy amount to be given to
farmers, which makes it clear that the hike in agricultural
power rates is effected, he claimed .
After seven days, the MJP will launch a state wide
agitation if the demands are not met, Zadaphiya said.
Patel said the hik in agriculture power tariff was false
and alleged that such reports have been spread with ill
"In fact the state government is providing power to the
farmers at rates fifty percent lower than the rates announced
by Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission," he said.
Patel said expenses of power generation have increased by
Rs 4286-crore since the UPA government has kept increasing the
rates of coal, gas and rail freight in the past five years.
"But the Gujarat government has not burdened the farmers
of the state with this increase," he asserted.