‘Partial win’: RWAs wanted fixed charge back to 2017-’18 rate
Residents welfare associations (RWAs) in Delhi on Wednesday appreciated the reduction in the fixed charges in the power tariffs applicable from August 1, but called it only “partial victory” for them.
They said that the new fixed charges were still higher than that in 2017-’18.
“This is a partial victory. RWAs have been protesting since April 2018, immediately after the fixed charges were increased,” said Saurabh Gandhi, general secretary, United Residents of Delhi, an umbrella organisation of 1,468 RWAs. “Our representatives met power minister Satyendar Jain at least seven times.”
B S Vohra, president of East Delhi RWA front, another umbrella body with around 100 associate RWAs, said that the decision would favour the families who fall under the low consumption slabs. “But what will happen to the surplus money collected as fixed charge with the revised formula in 2018-19?”
While the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hailed the power regulator’s move to lower fixed charges, the BJP and Congress questioned the timing of the move with Assembly elections likely to be scheduled for early next year.
Kejriwal took to twitter to congratulate Delhiites.
Satyendar Jain claimed that the fixed charges were reduced on Kejriwal’s “request”, which, he said, was made about three months ago. As per rules, however, neither the Delhi government nor any cabinet minister can issue any “directions” pertaining to power tariffs to the DERC.
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia claimed that Delhi is the only state in the country where electricity rates have not increased since 2014.
Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari termed DERC’s decision to decrease fixed charges as an “election tactic” of AAP. “Delhi BJP continuously put pressure on the Kejriwal government and he has admitted his mistake. Kejriwal will also have to refund the ₹7,000 crore looted from the people of Delhi by increasing the fixed charge and load factor,” he said.
The Delhi Congress demanded a total roll back of the fixed charges, saying that the AAP government was doing a “piecemeal job” eyeing the upcoming assembly elections in the city. “This is an election stunt to fool the people after looting them in the name of fixed charges and pension fund. The reduction in the power tariff announced by the government should be with retrospective effect when the fixed charges were increased by six times last year,” said Haroon Yusuf, Delhi Congress working president.