URJA wants discoms under RTI

Campaigners meet AK Walia, MLAs


Jasleen Kaur | November 9, 2011

Sanjay Kaul meets Delhi health minister Dr AK Walia
Sanjay Kaul meets Delhi health minister Dr AK Walia

Delhi health minister Dr A K Walia on Wednesday told the members of United Residents Joint Action (URJA), a conglomeration of resident welfare associations (RWAs) protesting power tariff hikes, that it is difficult to bring discoms under the ambit of RTI.

Team URJA met Walia, a former Delhi power minister, as part of their walkathon campaign against the power tarriff increase. URJA has been meeting each and every MLA to persuade them to pledge their support to the campaign.

Walia said privatisation had helped solve the shortage of electricity in the capital to a great extent. Asked about bringing the discoms under the ambit of RTI Act, he said, "51 percent share of discoms is with the companies and 49 percent with the government. The government has a stake in it. But according to the Company Act, the major stake is with the companies so it cannot come under the RTI.” He, however, assured support to URJA on the issue.

The URJA members have been demanding to get the accounts of the power distribution companies audited by the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) before the next tariff hike and to bring these companies under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. It has, so far, covered 27 constituencies spread across 125 km. It will cover about 70 constituencies by the walkathon to meet each and every MLA and persuade them to give their support.

Last month, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit had indicated another hike in the power tariff saying an increase of 22 percent granted to the three discoms - BSES Radhani, BSES Yamuna and NDPL - was not enough. She had justified the hike by saying that the cost of power on Delhi was still lower as compared to other states.

“Whenever the discoms tell the government that they are facing losses and need to increase tariff, the government gives them a free hand,” says Sanjay Kaul, founder of People’s Action and chairperson URJA. He adds, “Currently, the companies are not accountable to anybody. But a common man who pays huge bill has the right to know about the accounts and functioning of these companies.”

URJA members also met congress MLA from Patparganj constituency, Ch. Anil Kumar, who appreciated the effort put in by the team and agreed that discoms should come under the RTI. “Even we receive complaints from people regarding high tariff. There are many who have suffered loss.” He added, “We have spoken to the CM on the issue time and again and we will raise it again in the assembly.”

The response from the MLAs, so far, has been fairly positive and they appreciate the effort put in by the members.

“Some of them were surprised to see that there is a group of people for whom this issue is so important that they are walking for it and showing their protest,” said Atul Goyal, convenor of URJA.

Last year, when the DERC indicated that it would reduce power tariff by 20 percent, the Delhi government used Section 108 of the Electricity Act to block the order. URJA demands government’s intervention, using the same section, to block the DERC tariff order until the CAG finishes its audit.



Other News

Manmohan Singh favours ‘time-tested measures’ for economy

The much hyped ‘double engine’ model of governance on which the BJP is seeking votes has utterly failed, and Mumbai and Maharashtra have had to face some of the worst effects of economic slowdown, former prime minister Manmohan Singh has said. A lot of problems facing Maharashtra

“If the oppn is weak you can’t blame the govt for that”

A three-term Rajya Sabha member, Sanjay Raut is the Shiv Sena spokesperson and its voice in parliament. He is also the executive editor of Marathi newspaper Samana, started by Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray. Raut spoke with Geetanjali Minhas on his party’s seat-sharing agreement

Ashish Shelar of BJP says, “We are very confident of victory”

Ashish Shelar, 47, was the president of the Mumbai city unit of the BJP, before he became the minister of school education, sports and youth welfare in the Maharashta government this year. He has represented the Vandre West constituency in the state assembly and seeking re-election. In a chat with

Nobel for economics goes to `global fight against poverty`

The Nobel Prize in economics for 2019 goes to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty." The prize, known as “The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel”, was announc

Modi-Xi script a new chapter in bilateral relations

Prime minister Narendra Modi has accepted president Xi Jinping’s invitation to visit China in 2020 for their third informal summit after Wuhan and Mamallapuram, indicating both sides’ realization of the importance of the mechanism which gives the two leaders of the Asian giants an opportunity t

Dharma as the original Idea of India

Dharma: Hinduism and Religions in India By Chaturvedi Badrinath Edited by Tulsi Badrinath Penguin, 194+ xiii pages, Rs 499 How to live: That is the most fundamental question of human existence.


Current Issue


CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar


Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter