Taking a leaf out of the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi, Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam on Wednesday demanded that Maharashtra government reduce power tariff in Mumbai for those who consume less than 500 units of electricity a month.
In a letter to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, the Mumbai North Lok Sabha MP said he would launch an agitation against the government if the “legitimate expectation of the entire middle-class and slum population” is not met.
Nirupam also demanded that an inquiry be set up to investigate the cost structure and pricing mechanism adopted by power distribution companies, accusing them of cartelising power supply.
“The Delhi government has simultaneously ordered a CAG audit of the power distribution companies but has gone ahead and reduced the tariff even before any audit has commenced,” he stated.
“The Regulatory Authority in Delhi was not even consulted, while whenever we raised this issue in Mumbai the standard reply given was that the matter has been referred to the regulator,” he wrote.
He said in the past 10 years, power tariff in Mumbai had increased by “around 4 times” in all sectors.
The possibility that some sort of cartelisation exists could not be ruled out since the companies supplying power had been increasing the tariff from time to time under one pretext or the other, the letter said.
“The situation in Mumbai is similar to that of Delhi where the very same power distribution companies supply power,” he said.
In the past, whenever the government had responded to public demand for reduction in power tariff, the benefit of the subsidy announced accrued only to the power companies, Nirupam said, adding that the subsidy, if any, should be passed on directly to the consumers.