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Delhi govt wants power regulator to rollback of surcharge hike

Power minister writes to DERC saying the decision of power hike was not in accordance with the Electricity Act 2003, and asks the regulator to rethink its decision.

delhi Updated: Jun 16, 2015 03:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
AAP,Power price hike,Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission

The Delhi government on Monday wrote a letter to the power regulator asking it to roll back the fuel surcharge hike that will increase electricity bills of consumers. The hike came into effect on Monday.

The letter written by power minister Satyendra Jain said the hike was not in accordance with the Electricity Act and the government was not consulted in the decision-making process.

The letter sent to the chairman of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) PD Sudhakar states: “It is noted that the DERC had neither given any notice in this regard to the public, Delhi government or any other stakeholder, nor any public consultation was made with the department of power in the matter”. The power minister has written in the letter that the Electricity Act 2003 allows amendment of tariff only once in a financial year.

“The move of the power regulator is completely illogical considering the CAG audit of the power discoms is still underway. The CAG audit is nearing completion and hence the power department is of the view that any increase in tariff or fuel surcharge should be taken up later,” said a senior Delhi government official.

From Monday, electricity will cost more across the city as the power regulator had approved up to a 6% hike in tariff, which is expected to rise again after the annual revision in July.

However, considering the power regulator is an autonomous body, it can reject the Delhi government’s request for a rollback. “We can’t force the DERC but we hope they will understand the futility of the exercise considering the findings of the audit will be out soon,” added the official.

DERC on Friday had approved a 4-6% increase in power purchase adjustment cost (PPAC), or the fuel surcharge, as it restored a levy charged to compensate the discoms for rise in cost of buying electricity.

AAP has forgotten Delhiites

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) chief Ajay Maken on Monday questioned the power tariff hike of six percent and alleged that the Delhi government has failed to govern and is backtracking on the promises made to the people.

The Congress said the AAP government was ignoring the people of Delhi, as their top priority at the moment was to fight with the Centre on frivolous issues.“They are so busy fighting for their own rights, they are so busy fighting with the Central government on frivolous issues, that they have forgotten the governance issues.

They have forgotten the plight of the people of Delhi. We are reeling under the power crisis and the sanitation aspect of Delhi is also something which everyone has seen. So, the Delhi government instead of providing a solution, is busy fighting with each other and with so many agencies,” he said.

Maken said that the six percent hike is just a prelude to the next 20 percent which is going to happen in July. (with inputs from ANI)

First Published: Jun 16, 2015 02:46 IST