Monday, 2 July 2012
POWER CONSUMERS ARE BEING LOOTED BY VARIOUS METHODS - VIJENDER GUPTA
On completion of 10 years of privatisation of power, Delhi Government and DERC have shocked the power consumers by steep power tariff hike. The consumers are not in a position to tolerate to this shock in the time of price spiral. Government has provided rebate of Re.1 on each unit the persons consuming power upto 200 units. But the consumers may not be able to get benefit because only 10 percent consumers belong to this category. This way advantage of rebate of Re.1 provided by Delhi Government will not be available to 90 percent of the consumers. Even in J.J. Clusters more than 60 percent consumers consume more than 200 units. These people who are the poorest person may not get the benefit of rebate of Re.1. Sixty percent of consumers utilize more than 600 units of power. This is the middle class of the society. The tariff for this slab is the highest i.e. Rs.6.22 which is unjustified. This tariff is very much higher than the procurement price of power. Consumers are being looted by the power companies by various methods. Government and the DERC are working in favour of the power companies. Power supply has been privatised in Delhi which is gross injustice with the common man.
The aforesaid information was given by Delhi Pradesh President Shri Vijender Gupta to the press persons today. He told that there are separate rates for the slabs of 200, 400, 600 and 1000 units. The companies have tactfully provided that if a person consuming 200 unit crosses this limit even by 1 unit then he will have to pay according to the rate applicable to slab 0-400. He will not avail the rebate applicable for 200 units. This way the consumer who utilizes even 1 unit more than 200 units will have to pay 2 times higher tariff. This is fraud with the consumers. Although it is said that power tariff has been increased by only 24 percent but the DERC has actually increased tariff by about 75 percent cleverly. On 26th August, 2011 Delhi Government and DERC had increased power tariff by 22 percent. In Delhi power tariff is higher than Gurgaon, Noida, Banglore and Chennai. In Gurgaon the power tariff is Rs. 4.50 per unit up to the slab of 400 units whereas in Delhi it is Rs. 5.19 per unit. In the capital power tariff is higher than the neighbouring areas for consumption up to 200 per unit whereas the power theft has gone down to 10 percent in Delhi. In neighbouring areas the power tariff is lower than Delhi in spite of the fact that there is power theft. The production of power companies have increased by only 18 percent by 26th June, 2012 but the power tariff has been increased by 75 percent.
Fuel surcharge at the rate of 7 percent from January 2012, 4 percent to 14 percent from April 2012 is also being recovered. For the last one year, the power companies are serving notice to all the domestic consumers and commercial consumers that they should get their load increased. The domestic consumers should deposit 1200 rupees for increasing the power load. Those consumers who could not deposit the money, power were disconnected arbitrarily. It has been mentioned in the notice that in view of the maximum consumption of power during the last 1 year it has become necessary to increase the load. Hence, you should deposit Rs.1200 so that new meter and new cable from the meter to the main line may be installed. Nothing happened like this, the meter and the cable have not been replaced but the fixed charged in the bill has been increased to Rs. 100. Previously when the power load was 1 KV, the fixed charge was only Rs. 30. Now, in most of the houses power load is of 3 KV. Fix charge has been increased to Rs. 100 in every bill and the loot does not stop here.
Power companies are adopting various methods to loot the people. The latest method is to fix separate rates of power for peak hours and non peak hours. At the time of privatization in the year 2002, all the three companies were given relief of Rs. 3450 crores. The assets of DVB of about 10 thousand crores were given to the power companies on lease of Re.1 only. Substandard meters have been installed in the houses of the consumers which record faster power consumption. Even at the time of test report, it was found that these meters are fast. The companies changed the meters in the houses but they did not change the meters of their own offices. What is the reason? Development fee was imposed on consumers. The power companies purchased electric equipments from their own sister companies at high rates and showed loss in their accounts. The High Court directed for audit of the accounts of the companies by CAG. Delhi cabinet approved the proposal of such audit but the required audit was never done.
Delhi Government gave bail out package of 500 crore rupees for compensating the company where as the former Chairman of DERC Shri Bijender Singh had found that the power companies have earned profit of 5200 crore rupees. In view of this profit, Shri Singh had advised for 20 percent reduction in power tariff. After his retirement P.D. Sudhakar became the Chairman of DERC. Just after taking over, he increased power tariff by 22 percent on 26th August, 2011. At the time of privatisation, the Government had mentioned about many benefits of privatisation. The first benefit was that more than one company can supply power. There shall be competition due to which the rates shall go down and the consumers shall get the benefit. Power tariff has been increased four times so far. This way the tariff has become twice higher. Before privatization power theft was about 55 percent which has now gone down to 9-12 percent. After preventing power theft by 1 percent the companies earn profit of 50 crore rupees. This way the companies are earning 2250 crores rupees every month by preventing power theft.
The companies do not show in their accounts that when and at what rate power was sold to neighbouring states. Companies are also earning profit by selling power to other states. Privatisation of power has become commercialization of power. DERC was constituted to protect the interest of the consumers. But this institution is only working in the interest of companies. Until the consumers shall not get opportunity to go to the courts they shall continue to be looted. The companies should also be brought under the purview of RTI so that the Information Commissioner may also exercise control. Due to privatisation not only the consumers of Delhi but of entire India are being looted. Government is mum. It is encouraging the loot of consumers.