Walk against power tariffs enters day nine

MLAs give mixed reaction to the demand of tackling power tariffs

danish

Danish Raza | November 11, 2011



Members of various resident welfare associations (RWAs) met the MLAs of the four constituencies of Badarpur, Tughlaqabad, Kalkaji and Greater Kailash as the ‘walkathon’ protest by the United Residents Joint Action (URJA) of Delhi against the increase in power tariffs entered its ninth day on Friday.

Greater Kailash MLA Subhash Chopra assured URJA members that he was all for the cause and would speak in the assembly on the issue. “We should not make it a political issue. This is a public cause,” he said.

Commenting on the repeated tariff hikes in the national capital, the Congress leader said the power distribution companies were purchasing equipment from their sister concerns and there was no system of checks and balances for these companies. “A year ago, the discoms had a surplus of Rs 3,577 crore and now they claim that they have losses of more than Rs 6,000 crore. This has become like family business,” he added.

The walkathon, spearheaded by Sanjay Kaul, chairperson of URJA, was launched on November 3 at Jantar Mantar. Police had detained the protesters on day one. This was followed by a meeting with V K Malhotra, leader of opposition in the assembly.

“We have only two demands: the CAG should conduct an audit of the power distribution companies before they are allowed to go for any further hike in power tariff and the discoms should be brought under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act,” said Kaul.

Ramesh Bidhuri, MLA of Tughlaqabad, was not quite forthcoming on the issue.

“Despite the increasing charges, people are happy because they are increasing 24X7 power supply. What can you and I do in this?” said Bhiduri, who is from BJP, the main opposition in the assembly.

Last month, chief minister Sheila Dikshit said that the recent tariff increase of 22 percent granted to the three discoms - BSES Rajdhani, BSES Yamuna and NDPL - was not enough and the companies might to for another round of hike.

The chief minister justified the hike by saying that the cost of power on Delhi was still much lower as compared to other states.

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