Power distribution companies' proposal to hike power tariff in Madhya Pradesh has evoked sharp reactions from citizens who are worried about the fact that, if accepted, it will upset their household budget.
The steep hike proposed by discoms has brought worry to power consumers. The three discoms in MP have proposed almost 24% average hike in power tariff for domestic consumption.
Citizens across different cross-sections seem worried over the proposal, even though a final decision is yet to be taken by regulatory commission. Many citizens cite the example of Delhi and say that when power tariff has been brought down in Delhi, there is no raison d'etre behind hike in tariff in Madhya Pradesh.
"The power tariff should not go up as it will upset the budget of middle-class families. A marginal increase may be understood but a significant hike would be unrealistic and wrong," said Seema Chauhan, a housewife, who lives in Awadhpuri.
"When the Delhi government can bring down the power rates, why can't it be done in MP," she asks. Amir Ali, 45, who lives near Jehangirabad, says, "The power rates are already quite high in Madhya Pradesh and the government should ensure that there should not be a hike that would burn a hole in our pockets."
Vaibhav Mukharya, a Sagar-based businessman, says the proposed hike, if accepted, would hit the common man badly. "On one hand, the union and state government's budgets have not given any respite to businessmen and common citizens and this would further be a big blow to people," he said. "The prices of commodities of daily use are rising and there is recession in trade too. I wonder if it is the achche din that were promised by the BJP," he further said.
"Citizens are already facing crisis due to price rise. Whether it is fuel or LPG, the prices of essential commodities are being increased regularly. Now, if power tariff goes up much, it would be a bad news for the middle-class and the poor sections of the society," says Santosh Singh Yadav, 50, who is a senior auditor with Bharat Scouts and Guides. "As far as I know, power tariff hasn't gone up markedly in any other state. And it shouldn't happen in MP either," added Yadav, who lives in TT Nagar in Bhopal.
"I don't think the power prices should be increased. The distribution companies should understand that electricity is a basic necessity. In fact, the rates should be reduced," says Mohammad Nasir, who is assistant sales manager, with a private housing corporation. "The summer is approaching, there will be increase in power consumption in each household and if there is hike in rates, it will affect every citizen. This shouldn't happen," he adds.