New Delhi: Slamming BJP for politicising the power tariff issue, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday said consumers are receiving higher electricity bills due to round the clock power supply in the city. Justifying the current tariff structure, she said the cost of power production has increased significantly in the last few years due to which electricity tariff in the city has also gone up.
"The BJP is politicising the issue because of the ensuing elections which is very unfortunate. The people are receiving higher bills mainly because we are ensuring round the clock supply of electricity. If you get 24X7 power supply, then it will be reflected in the bills," Dikshit said addressing a rally in Bindapur area of West Delhi.
She also wondered why BJP did not protest the steep power tariff hike effected recently in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh. "The electricity rates have been increased significantly in Uttar Pradesh few days back, but no one protested. The power tariff in Delhi is much lower compared to other metropolitan cities," Dikshit said.
BJP and Aam Aadmi Party have been targeting the Delhi government for rising cost of power ion the city. Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel even promised to cut down the rates by 30 per cent if his party comes to power in Delhi in assembly polls scheduled to be held in November.
The power tariff was hiked by 22 per cent in 2011, followed by five per cent hike in February last year. It was raised by up to two per cent in May last year and again by 26 per cent for domestic consumers in July.
The tariff was increased by up to three per cent in February and it was again hiked earlier in May by 1.5 per cent to adjust the power purchase cost of the distribution companies. The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) is currently considering a further raising the tariff as all the private power distribution companies have demanded a steep hike in the rates to help them overcome fund crunch.
Dikshit had recently indicated that power tariff may go up again. Addressing the rally, Dikshit promised to set up mono rail network in the area to connect it with the central Delhi. Government has already decided to set up monorail network in congested area of east Delhi.
Dikshit said the introduction of Delhi metro and AC buses in the city has made passengers' journey comfortable and it was time to improve mode of public transport in congested localities. "The Government has decided to introduce Mono Rail for this purpose with an aim to supplement the services of Delhi metro to introduce mono rail from Bindapur," Dikshit said. The chief minister said that Bindapur would be included in the ongoing survey for introduction of mono rail in Mohan Garden localities since it was easy and less expensive to lay mono rail lines in congested localities. She stated that her government would widen the roads from Dwarka to Bindapur and construct a DTC terminal in the area.