RESIDENT SPEAK: Dwarka residents unhappy with hike in BSES bills
New Delhi: Residents of Dwarka are not happy because of a hike in charges levied in BSES bills. As per representatives of several Dwarka-based organisations, the current bill cycle for the month of December has been delivered to the societies with another hike in charges.
The resultant burden on the consumer is exponentially high at Rs. 8.61 per unit, the highest ever in the past several years.
The component of charges include electricity charges, fixed charges, power purchase adjustment charges, pension fund charges, surcharge and electricity tax. Though per unit electricity tariff on single point delivery system is Rs 4.50, the other charges when added, make it to Rs 8.61 per unit.
When I approach the BSES, their officials have a standard reply. They reply that it is the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) which fixes the tariff and other charges and all queries of consumers should be directed to them. On the other hand, DERC never shares the mechanism of its charges. They are not willing to share as to how the rate of PPAC during the year has gone from 3 per cent to 14.30 per cent and why pension fund increase of 1.2 per cent over the earlier rate is justified.
PK Chopra, another resident of Dwarka said that the DERC has unilaterally assumed unquestionable powers to recover various charges from its consumers. For the sake of maintaining the status quo in the case of unit rate, they have ensured that the tariff is left unchanged. He said when the consumers compare their monthly bills, there is a huge increase in other charges which are recovered in addition to the electricity rate. He added that there is no transparency. No advance notice to the consumers is issued when there is upward revision and no justification or its rationale is made available at any site. Since there is no fixed band, the public is not aware upto what level DERC may keep increasing these charges. PPAC is nothing but indirectly increasing the electricity charges per unit.
Though DERC issues Public Awareness Bulletins every year and provides the methodology of recovering the monthly charges from the residents of societies having a single point supply system, it does not ensure how many societies are actually following their guidelines. DERC should provide detailed information in respect of PPAC and Pension Fund Charge in their yearly bulletin and should make the basis on which these charges are recovered public. DERC should also issue public notice whenever any increase is proposed in these charges.
Ravi Jaitley, General Secretary of Seniors Hub Dwarka said that earlier it was SDMC which tried to levy charges which they had to reverse following protests and now it is BSES. He said that he fails to understand why the authorities indulge in such unpleasant tactics of levying and then increasing charges without even informing the users besides the fact that they spend crores in full-page advertisements in the newspapers and TV commercials.
He said that BSES had introduced these heads of charges some five to six years back without information which they have now increased. In case the residents are not vigilant, the abnormal increase will continue unabated. Jaitley cautioned that abnormal hike in charges if not stopped would force residents to come on streets to protest. Majority of senior citizens who comprise forty per cent of Dwarka's total population are already annoyed and term these continued hikes as robbery on their wallets.
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