In yet another display of its populist measures, the Aam Aadmi Party government on 12-02-2014 announced that the people who had not paid their electricity bills during Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's agitation against alleged inflated billing by discoms in 2012 will get a 50 per cent rebate in payment of arrears.
AAP leader Manish Sisodia said that the Delhi government had decided to provide relief to all those who had taken part in the 'Bijli Satyagraha' and had backed Kejriwal between October 2012 and April 2013.
"Those who had not paid their bills by taking part in Kejriwal's agitation and had continued to not pay bills till December will get a 50 per cent cut in the arrears and also the fine would be waived off," he said.
As per reports, around 24,000 consumers would benefit from the announcement, which would put an additional burden of Rs 6 crore on the government. However, those who paid their bills during that period will not get any refunds.
But, ever since the rookie party led by Kejriwal assumed power, the Delhi government and the power discoms are at loggerheads.
Just after its formation, AAP had launched a 'Bijli Satyagraha' against "inflated" power bills in the national capital. As part of the campaign, Kejriwal had urged people to refuse to pay their power bills.
Although around 10 lakh people had signed AAP's petition against power distribution companies during the agitation, only 24,000-odd consumers actually stopped paying their bills.
The decision will thus benefit these 24,000 people as Delhi government foots a Rs 6 crore bill on their behalf.
Keeping a pre-poll promise, Kejriwal had announced a 50 per cent subsidy on electricity consumption of up to 400 units in Delhi after coming to power following the recent Assembly elections.
Later, the AAP government also ordered the Comptroller and Auditor General to audit the finances of the three private power distribution companies serving Delhi.
BSES Yamuna owed over Rs 400 crore to the NTPC. It had filed a plea in the apex court against NTPC after it threatened to stop supply to it over the huge debt.
The BSES had then approached the Delhi government for help, which filed a plea with the NTPC to not stop the supply. The plea was rejected.
As BSES asked Delhiites to be prepared for 8-10 hours of power cuts, the Arvind Kejriwal government threatened to cancel its licence.
However, the Supreme Court asked the NTPC to continue the power supply to BSES Yamuna, the discom which provides electricity to east and central Delhi.
The top court asked NTPC to continue the supply till March 26 and also directed the BSES to pay Rs 50 crore out of the amount it owes to the central PSU.
Source- Hindustan Times