Under persistent attack by the opposition on power tariff hike issue, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday said that electricity tariffs would not be raised during the tenure of present BJP government in Haryana.
“Haryana is a power surplus state which has 14 power generation plants of its own. Besides, electricity is also received from 51 other sources under Central and other agreements,” he said here on the sidelines of state cabinet meeting.
Earlier, the Haryana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) implemented the decision to increase power tariff which taken by the Cabinet of the previous government, he pointed out.
“On the initiatives of the present government, the HERC has given relief to consumers,” Khattar told reporters.
The Chief Minister said that some opposition leaders were misleading the people on the power tariff issue. Opposition Congress and INLD have held series of protests and agitations asking the state government to rollback the power rates which were hiked earlier this year, claiming these had adversely affected the common consumers.
He also said the opposition was unnecessarily creating an issue “concerning power plant of Aravali at Jhajjar”. He said that in a letter written to the Centre by the state, an offer to surrender the Aravali NTPC Jhajjar Plant for a period of one year was made, which is causing huge fixed expenses to the power department.
“If this proposal is accepted, the state could save crores of rupees in the shape of fixed cost for a year. This move can enable reduction in cost of power in the state through better management of the discoms. A similar letter was also written by the previous government in February, 2012,” he said.
Khattar said that measures are being taken to overcome the losses of power distribution companies in the state which have increased to Rs 29,000 crore. “The Union Government has also launched UDAY scheme under which state governments would share 75 per cent losses of power distribution companies,” he said.
He said that Haryana has given its consent to the Centre under the scheme so that the burden of accumulated losses on power discoms could be minimised.
The chief minister said that in order to make utilities profitable and to provide people uninterrupted 24-hour power supply, ‘Mhara Gaon Jagmag Gaon’ scheme has been started on 83 feeders.
“People are encouraged to regularly pay their dues,” he added. In reply to a question, the Chief Minister said that the state has no objection in naming Chandigarh International Airport after legendary freedom fighter Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
“However, its name should carry the word ‘Chandigarh’ (and not Mohali as Punjab insists),” he added.