Polls ahead, discom takes back petition for power hike

India, May 4 -- Days after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) collected about 10.5 lakh letters from people who had pledged to not pay inflated power and water bills, distribution company BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BYPL) withdrew its 'revised petition' in which it had asked for a bigger tariff hike this year.

The move comes as relief for residents of south and west Delhi who were staring at a bigger tariff hike this year.

With Assembly elections round the corner, the Delhi government, which is facing public ire over inflated power bills, is not willing to take any chance and the power distribution company's move to withdraw the revised petition is being viewed in this context.

The power distribution company had demanded a 6.5 per cent tariff hike in February from the earlier 1.6 per cent it had sought in December last year.

Confirming the move, Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) chairman PD Sudhakar said: "BRPL has withdrawn its amended petition wherein it had asked for a power tariff increase of 6.5 per cent in addition to other surcharges. We will determine the new tariff according to their earlier petition wherein they had asked for 1.6 per cent hike".

The process of fixing power tariff got delayed after the discom submitted a revised petition. "Now that the petition has been withdrawn, we will start public hearing and finalise the tariff," added Sudhakar.

AAP spokesperson Manish Sisodia termed it as a small victory for the party.

"It is the beginning of a victory. We are sure that the next victory would be better after the elections when AAP reduces the power rates by 50 per cent," he said.

A BRPL spokesperson confirmed that they had withdrawn the petition. The other two discoms, however, have not filed any such petition.

The DERC order issued on April 25 makes it clear that it had allowed BRPL to withdraw the petition.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.