Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday decided to reward those consumers who refused to pay power bills on its request during the last year's agitation against alleged inflated electricity and water bills. The consumers who refused payments from October 2012 and April 2013---the period of the agitation---will now have to shell out only 50% of the pending amounts, said AAP minister Manish Sisodia. They also don't have to pay penalties. The decision will benefit 24,036 people and it will cost the government Rs 6 crore. The AAP had launched a Bijli Pani Andolan in the national capital against inflated power and water bills. As part of the campaign, the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had urged people not to pay their power bills. Although about a million people signed AAP's petition against power distribution companies during the agitation, only 24,000-odd consumers actually stopped paying their bills. "During the agitation, a total of 2,508 electricity meters were disconnected by the authorities concerned for non-payment of inflated and wrong bills. The government has decided to provide relief to those people also so that they do not suffer for wrong decisions of the previous government," a government spokesman said. "The government has also decided to consider the closure of theft cases registered against some consumers during the previous government," he said. In its manifesto, Kejriwal had announced a 50 per cent subsidy on electricity consumption of up to 400 units in Delhi after coming to power. Later, the AAP government also asked the comptroller and auditor general to audit the finances of the three private power distribution companies supplying electricity to Delhi.
(With PTI inputs)