The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government will have a tough time implementing its promise to reduce power and water bills.
Even though the new government has decided to slash power bills by 50%, for which it will have to pay at least Rs 1,500 crore per year, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has initiated the process of implementing the annual power tariff hike that is likely to be announced by June, sources said.
Next month, the regulator will notify the process. The three discoms have asked for a tariff hike ranging between 16 and 20 per cent. Sources said even if the government cuts tariff by 50%, DERC’s move was likely to increase power bills.
There are more than 45 lakh power consumers in the city.
“We have started receiving the annual revenue requirement submissions by discoms. We will come up with a notification for revising power tariff,” said a DERC official.
When power rates were last increased in July 2014, it did not reflect in the bills as the quarterly surcharge was removed, lowering the overall cost.
Discoms argued that power procurement cost had been going up for the past few years and needed to be controlled if tariff had to be reduced.
Similarly, the promise of giving regular water and piped connections as well as 700 litres of free water per day will be another big challenge.
As per records, out of 33.4 lakh households in Delhi, nearly 20 lakh have access to piped water.
AAP promised to give connections to remaining households in five years. The government said it would not discriminate between slums, unauthorised colonies, villages and authorised colonies.