The Aam Aadmi Party government on Tuesday accused Reliance ADAG chairman Anil Ambani’s two electricity distribution companies of “atrocious” performance and sought a roadmap to improve the power situation in the Capital.
In a letter to the industrialist, Delhi power minister Satyendar Jain said his BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna discoms have failed to meet the people’s expectations and were allegedly besieged with corruption and financial irregularities.
“Performance of BSES has been atrocious so far. They were handed over the responsibility of power distribution of two thirds of Delhi in 2002, roughly 14 years ago. The expectation was that you will bring down tariffs and install a world-class power system in the Capital ... However, you have failed to do so,” the letter says.
Besides, the minister pointed to allegations of irregularities such as siphoning off funds by the two discoms. “Some of these allegations have been corroborated by the CAG’s draft report and in earlier DERC orders,” Jain said.
The blistering criticism follows public outrage against the AAP government over frequent outages this summer. Long power cuts hit parts of the city after demand hit an all-time high of 6, 188MW on May 20.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal warned in May that discoms will be made to compensate consumers for even hour-long outages if their supply network is not strengthened in the next six months.
The warning came on a day the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) issued an order to the discoms to compensate consumers for unscheduled outages that extend up to two hours.
“Last few weeks have seen unprecedented power outages in the Capital due to local faults despite availability of adequate power … After stern warnings from the government your companies have now started fudging data to show improvement. If there are 10 outages, the daily report from your company shows only 7 and deliberately masks out 3,” says Jain’s letter to Ambani.
The AAP government also accused Ambani of “a cosy relationship with previous governments in Delhi at the expense of public interest”.
The letter says: “Kindly note that the new government is fully committed to protecting the interests of public and their welfare. In order to do that, the new AAP government in Delhi will not hesitate in taking strong decisions.”
The minister asked Ambani for a meeting to show a roadmap demonstrating his plans to improve the power situation. “I hope to see you sometime early next week,” he said.
BSES officials declined comment, saying they have yet to see the letter.