BJP seeks Lt Guv's intervention on power tariff issue



New Delhi: Stepping up attack on Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for stalling announcement of new power tariff, BJP today submitted a "charge-sheet" against her to Lieutenant Governor Tejindra Khanna and sought his intervention in the issue.

A 15-member BJP delegation including senior leader V K Malhoptra and city unit chief Vijendra Gupta met Khanna and alleged that Dikshit was backing the discoms' demand to hike tariff, although power regulator DERC was planning to cut the rates.

"The Lt Governor has assured (us) that he will look into the issue. He has already instructed Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta who was present in the meeting to clarify government's position on it," Gupta told reporters.

In the 'charge-sheet', the BJP accused the Chief Minister of "siding with the discoms rather than with the people who had elected her as their representatives.

Gupta said BJP will continue to press for a cut in tariff as planned by power regulator Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC).

In an unusual move, Delhi government on May 4 had forced DERC not to announce the new tariff order apparently coming under pressure from the three discoms which had complained that their demand for increasing power tariff has not been considered by the regulator while finalising the new tariff structure.

The DERC, which was making last minute preparations to announce the new tariff for the year 2010-11, after receiving the government directive had indicated that it had planned to cut down the tariff by 20 to 25 per cent as discoms would have had a surplus of around Rs 4,000 crore if the existing tariff was not changes.

The BJP delegation also took up with Khanna the issue of removal of hoardings put up by the party against Dikshit government's policy on power tariff.

"The Lt Governor said he will ask the police commissioner to investigate the matter and will also seek a report from the MCD commissioner," Gupta said.

Around 30 hoardings put out by the BJP across the city on power tariff issue were removed by MCD for violating norms.

Gupta said the party will take legal action against the private agencies which had taken the contract to put up the hoardings.

The party's city unit chief also slammed the government for increasing the circle rates in the city, saying the common man will not be able to buy houses following the hike.

PTI