AAP keeps its promise and hope that it benefits those who need it
Shishir Tripathi | February 26, 2015
Manoj Kumar starrer Roti Kapda Aur Makaan was set in the early seventies of Delhi. It was about a man, his family and their struggle to earn bare necessities of life. If the movie had to be remade toady it will need to change at least one thing, the title of the movie. It ought to be, certainly, bijli pani sadak. Set in the context of the recent Delhi election the title will have apolitical relevance.
Fulfilling its two major campaign promises on Wednesday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi reduced the power tariffs to half. Tariff reduction will be available to the families up to 400 units. It also promised 20,000 litres of water per household will be supplied free every month.
Political campaigns are costly affairs and the promises made in its course are even costlier. Given the fact that the power subsidy will be effective from next month and is expected to cost the state government Rs 70 crore in March and Rs 1,427 crore in the next financial year, it is indeed costlier than the campaign.
While making the announcement deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the power subsidy would cover some 36 lakh households in Delhi, amounting to some 90 per cent of electricity consumers in the capital.
Indian state which openly claims it to be ‘socialist’ is expected to help its people. It often gets required mandate on this basis. Many political depositions have fallen, and fallen badly, when they failed to ensure that all the ‘corners’ and not just the high-rise are shining.
While sheer populism often guides election promises and the its fulfilment, the riders put forward by the new government on the benefits offered, seems driven more by a good intention of helping the needy than earning brownie points from all. The riders attached for availing the benefits clearly indicates to this.
It has been made clear that if power consumption crosses 400 units, a consumer will have to pay for the entire number of units used; starting from 1.Further there will be restrictions on free water too. Households using more than 20,000 litres will have to pay for the entire amount consumed.
This will mean that those enjoying the cosines of their air-conditioned drawing rooms along with their peers wasting thousands of litres of water in washing their sedans and SUVs are excluded from the benefit.
This certainly will exclude that class of citizenry who are enjoying the benefits not meant for them. Those sections of people, who can sustain, survive and even flourish without these dole outs. The free riders will be not allowed to have a comfortable ride and this really makes much sense.
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