RWAs and discoms to meet with Delhi power minister over hike
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RWAs and discoms to meet with Delhi power minister over hike

The meeting — to be attended by DERC, RWAs and private discoms — will be held this Tuesday.

RWAs and discoms to meet with Delhi power minister over hike

A meeting, to be headed by Delhi power minister Saytender Jain, will discuss the demand for a fresh tariff hike of 20 per cent by private discoms in the city.

The meeting will be held this Tuesday.

Officials from Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), private discoms, RWA representatives will discuss the proposed hike, which has been unanimously opposed by RWAs across Delhi-NCR.

RWAs claim keeping power tariff low in the city has been one of the key promises of the ruling AAP government. They have also prepared a list of queries for the meeting. “We’ve sent a list of 10 queries to the government regarding the functioning of power discoms. We have already talked about transparency and CAG audit of discoms. This time, we have raised questions regarding competition among multiple power distribution companies operating in Delhi,” said a member of an East Delhi RWA on condition of anonymity.

The RWAs have already opposed discoms’ proposal in an earlier meeting called by the DERC.

Section 61 of the Electricity Act, 2003, claim RWAs, is meant for safeguarding the interests of the consumers —DERC is to provide a competitive environment among private power discoms. But nothing has happened on that front.

BS Vohra, president of East Delhi RWA federation, who’s leading the RWA delegation against the hike, explained, “The regulatory body was formed to supervise the functioning of private power distribution companies. DERC is also supposed to create a competitive environment for city discoms to ensure price benefits for consumers. But it wasn’t done.”   

City Spidey gained access to the letter RWAs have sent to the Delhi government. It read: “Both BSES Yamuna Power ltd and BSES Rajdhani ltd were allowed to supply electricity in the city in July 2002. In 2004, the DERC issued licenses to these companies to continue their services for the next the next 25 years. Since then, 17 years have passed we have not heard anything from the DERC about [promoting] competition among discoms, which is primarily mentioned in Section 61 of Electricity Act, 2003.”

It further said: “May we request you to please ask the DERC that what has been done by the DERC to promote competition among the power discoms in [the] last 20 years?”

RWAs from Dwarka, too, have come down heavily on the proposed hike.

Dr KS Bhati, president of CGHS federation, Dwarka, Sector 20, talking to City Spidey said, “All RWA federations must come forward to fight against the monopoly of power companies. If power tariff is increased I would be the first person to take this matter to the court. We — residents of housing societies — are the larger consumers of electricity and also notified taxpayers. The government must keep our interests in mind before taking any decision.”

Discoms had also proposed a hike of 15 per cent in 2016. However, the proposal was dismissed owing to stiff opposition from RWA bodies.

Tariff was last revised in 2014 by five per cent.