BJP in Delhi today asked Lt Governor Najeeb Jung not to allow any hike in power tariff as demanded by private power distribution companies and accused them of exploiting consumers.
In a letter to Jung, Delhi BJP president Harsh Vardhan also alleged that the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has been favouring private power companies while ignoring the interests of the consumers. "These companies are exploiting the consumers on one pretext or the other. The attitude of the DERC is against the interests of the people and in favour of the power companies.
There is no justification in increasing power tariff," Vardhan said.
The DERC was examining a demand to increase the rates as demanded by the discoms. Reliance Infra-backed BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd has sought a hike of 13% while Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd has demanded an increase of 14%. Power tariff in the city was hiked by up to eight% in January by the DERC.
In his letter, Vardhan slammed the power companies and said they were compelled to agree to the CAG audit into their finances following orders of Delhi High Court. "All the three power distribution companies have conspired to increase power tariff in the name of quarterly fuel charge," he said.
Vardhan said though power theft has been brought down to 15% from 53% in 2002, the companies have not passed on the benefits to the consumers. "According to experts, power companies earn minimum of 300 crore to maximum of 600 crore rupees by preventing 1% power theft annually. The agreement made between power companies and then Sheila Dikshit Government specified that the companies will share the benefit of preventing power theft with the consumers," he said.
The BJP leader also alleged that the power companies have been charging 35 to 40% "extra charges" besides the consumption charges. "There is no justification in granting permission for increasing power tariff again and again. If the commission and the Government desires, they can compel the companies to manage the power distribution in such a way that there may not be any necessity to recover fuel charges," he said