Angry protests and heated arguments were witnessed today during the first public hearing on fixation of power tariff for 2011-12 with various RWAs accusing power regulator DERC of taking sides with private discoms in finalising the rates.
Most of the RWAs which participated in the public hearing slammed the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission for taking a "favourable stand" on demands of the private discoms to hike the tariff and wondered why the same regulator had sought a cut in rates last year.
The RWA representatives strongly argued for cutting the tariff and said they will hit the streets if rates are increased. The DERC is currently in the process of finalising a new tariff order for the year 2011-12 and there have been indications that the tariff may go up in the wake of strong demand by the private power distribution companies.
Seeking to puncture the claim of the discoms about "huge losses", Hemant Sharma of Lajpat Nagar RWA questioned the audit reports of the discoms, alleging that the figures were "manipulated" to demand hike in tariff. He asked how the DERC sought a substantial cut in tariff last year while examining the same audit reports of the private companies.
S K Sood, another RWA representative, also lambasted the discoms for demanding a hike, saying there should be a cutin tariff instead. Some RWA representatives also shouted slogans against the DERC and Delhi Government and questioned the regulator's decision not to allow the media at the hearing. The public hearing was organised by DERC to allow various stakeholders to put forward their views on the tariff.