Tourists will bear the brunt of the recent 21.77% hike in power tariffs. For, guesthouse and hotel owners have decided to hike their charges by 10%.
The association of hotel owners, called the Hotel Mahasangh, claims that the hike will lead to a rise in their overall running cost. It also says that their electricity bills run into lakhs of rupees. We are already paying increased property tax and conversion charges to the civic bodies, the association said.
“We were expecting a rollback of the present tariffs but we have been hugely disappointed. The government had said that as power theft had been controlled, it would consider lowering the present tariffs. If our electricity bills will go up by about 22%, we will have no choice but to recover it partially from the people,” said Arun Gupta, general secretary of Hotel Mahasangh.
An average charge of a room will increase from the present R3,000 to R3,300 per day if the 10% hike comes into effect.
According to the association, they had invested a lot of money in revamping their guesthouses and hotels for CWG. The latest rise in power tariff will increase their running costs.
“We are now being burdened by rising power bills. This is not acceptable and we have decided unanimously that we will increase the guesthouse tariff by 10%,” Gupta added.
However, Hotel Mahasangh is also planning to write to Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, asking her for a rollback. “We will be meeting the chief minister over this issue and make this demand,” said another guesthouse owner.
Meanwhile, the working of the Standing Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was disrupted as councillors debated over the hike in power tariffs. Even Congress councillors expressed their displeasure with the hike.
Jai Kishan Sharma, leader of the Opposition in MCD, on Monday said he will take up the matter with the Dikshit and ask for a rollback.“I do not support the hike in power tariffs. A 5-7% hike is understandable but a jump of nearly 22% is unacceptable,” added Sharma.
Paharganj, Delhi’s tourist hub, has about 4,000 guesthouses.