Under attack from BJP and Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Admi Party for hike in power tariff, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today sought to justify the increase and said bills have gone up due to 24-hour electricity supply.
"People will try to instigate you saying that these bills are inflated. But I would say you one cannot compare bills for 24 hour power supply to that of 8 hours supply," Dikshit said after inaugurating a road project in Ballimaran area.
Last month Dikshit had said people should cut power consumption on various electrical appliances if they cannot afford high electricity tariff, a prescription that had evoked sharp criticism.
Rejecting criticism of increase in tariff, the Chief Minister said her government has ensured round-the-clock power supply in the city which used to witness eight to nine-hour-long power cuts.
"There are a lot of youth here who don't even know that there used to be 8 to 9-hour-long power outages in Delhi. We had decided to fix the problem and we have succeeded in it by ensuring 24 hour power availability to people of Delhi," Dikshit said.
The power tariff in the city was hiked by 22% in 2011 followed by five per cent hike in February last year. The tariff was hiked by up to 2% in May last year and again by 26% for domestic consumers in July last year. The tariff was hiked by up to 3% last month. The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission is again considering a hike in tariff.
AAP leader Kejriwal is on an indefinite fast for last seven days protesting "inflated" power and water bills. He has been asking people not to pay the bills.
The Delhi BJP has also upped the ante against Dikshit, alleging that power tariff in the city was being hiked frequently at her "behest".
Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel has already announced that tariff will be cut by 30 per cent if the party comes to power in assembly polls scheduled to be held in November.