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A day after the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) approved a quarterly power purchase cost adjustment sought by the three power distribution companies for the October-December quarter, the Congress accused chief minister Arvind Kejriwal of being "hand in glove" with power discoms.
The hike - 8% for areas fed by BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL), 6% for BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and 7% for Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd - would reflect in bills for February to April.
Though Kejriwal has taken on the discoms by ordering a CAG audit against them, Congress leaders Haroon Yusuf and Mukesh Sharma said the chief minister was fully responsible for the power tariff hike and had betrayed the trust of the people.
"If power tariff is not reduced by half without subsidy, Congress workers will come out on the streets and launch a series of protest against the AAP government. Students' exams are about to come. If power cuts continue, how will our children prepare for exams? The party cannot bear this," Yusuf said.
Demanding a rollback of the hike, Yusuf said Kejriwal knew in advance that tariff was to be increased by the discoms as there was a process by which DERC formally informed the chief secretary and power secretary 8-10 days before hiking rates.
"The times of 1990s when Delhi faced massive power problems are coming back, thanks to Kejriwal. We refute his claim that he didn't know about power companies raising tariff. Power distribution companies, in a letter to the government, had explained the difficulties they were facing and warned that there would be power cuts lasting 8-10 hours," Yusuf said.
Sharma said, "We now ask the Delhi CM whether he would sit on dharna outside DERC office like he had sat on dharna outside Rail Bhawan demanding suspension of some police personnel." He added that the previous Congress-led government had provided 24-hour power supply to the residents in its tenure.