NEW DELHI (TIP): Ahead of Delhi assembly elections inNovember, Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwalhas trained his guns on chief minister Sheila Dikshit,accusing the Delhi government of conniving with privatepower distribution companies to increase power tariffs inthe Capital by showing “false” figures on losses.After several exposes on political leaders and corporatebig-wigs, Kejriwal accused the Delhi government and theDelhi Electricity Regulatory Commission of playing intothe hands of the private power companies, owned by AnilAmbani and the Tata group.
Kejriwal said whileprivatising power distribution in Delhi in 2002, thegovernment had promised tariffs would come down asdistribution losses would be reduced. He said 11 years afterprivatisation though distribution losses have come downfrom 55% to 15%, electricity bills have gone up for Delhiites. Kejriwal alleged private powercompanies were “hiding” their revenuesand should therefore be audited by CAG.Addressing a press conference on a daywhen a3% increase in power tariff becameapplicable, Kejriwal accused Dikshit ofstalling a 2010 order of DERC, in whichformer chairperson Brijender Singh hadobserved that private distributioncompanies were making huge profits and,as a consequence, power tariffs should bereduced by 23%.
Kejriwal said since 2010 the chairpersonhas changed and the power tariffs havegone up, first by 22% in August 2011 andthen by 32% in June 2012. “We havecalculated that for a household thatconsumes 200 units in 2 months, when thepower bill should have been Rs 503, thehousehold pays Rs 1,505 and has paid Rs7,910 extra in the last three years to theprivate companies. Similarly, for ahousehold that consumes 400 units in twomonths, the bill should be Rs 2,205, but itactually is Rs 4,400. This household hasalready paid Rs 19,443 extra in the last threeyears,” Kejriwal said.Reacting to the allegations levied byKejriwal, Tata PowerBSE 1.43 % Delhi CEOPraveer Sinha said there was a need to lookat the situation in proper perspective. “Ourtariffs are lower than neighbouring states,”he added. A BSES spokesperson said: “Theallegations posed are completely baselessand wild to mislead the citizens of Delhi.Issues raised have no relation whatsoeverwith the ground realities and are meant forpersonal gains.”The Chief Minister’s Office termedKejriwal’s accusations as a “bunch of lies”.State power minister Haroon Yusuf saidKejriwal was trying to “sensationalise theissue as he did not say anything new”.Kejriwal demanded that a case of fraudshould be lodged against Anil Ambani ashis company, BSES, had allegedly fudgedaccounts to show huge losses. Kejriwalaccused the new DERC chairman PDSudhakar of “working as an agent” ofprivate distribution companies.