East Delhi resident Ravinder Kumar, 79, has found a new motivation in his retired life.
These days he is preparing for the public hearing for electricity-tariff determination in February. “I am preparing my objections to discoms’ plea seeking hike in tariffs. It is unfair and we plan to go in groups to protest next month,” he says.
He is not exaggerating.
A cross section of residents in East Delhi, including housewives, retired babus, businessmen, industrialists and others are gearing up to generate the highest number of objections to tariff hike among all pockets in Delhi.
Fanning their ire is the fact that the amount of power theft and loss of power in their area last year was much less than the discom’s overall target for loss reduction and certainly lesser than most of Delhi.
So instead of a hike, residents want incentives.
“Discoms say they need more money because of losses due to theft. But in East Delhi, their losses are lesser than their targets. Why then, should we be forced to pay more?” says Ritu Mehta, a housewife from Anand Vihar.
The Patparganj Industrial Area, with around 800 sm-all and medium manufacturing units, is compiling a record 200 objections and joining residents to take on discoms.
According to prescribed targets, BSES Yamuna has to contain Aggregate Transmission and Commercial (AT&C) losses to around 35 per cent for last year. The target is around 22 per cent for 2011.
But residents of this area — conventionally regarded as a power-theft-prone area — say latest electronic records from Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) says Laxmi Nagar division’s AT&C losses from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008 was just about 23.88 per cent — much lower than most parts of Delhi.
“We have pleaded with the DERC to make discoms give incentives to consumers based on loss reduction on a micro-level like in Laxmi Nagar. A tariff hike would treat them on a par with areas where power theft is high,” said Atul Goyal of RWA body URJA.
BSES said there was no consumer incentive scheme at the micro-level, while admitting power theft in some areas was lesser than other areas.