Sheila is right: No short cuts in power
- IPL spot-fixing: Chennai Super Kings owner's kin under police scanner
- IPL 2013 LIVE SCORE: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals
- Jessica Lall murder: Actor Shayan Munshi, ballistic expert Manocha to face perjury trial
- BJP tears into UPA govt on 4th anniversary, says it lacks leadership
- BCCI was forced to encash Pune Warriors' bank guarantee: Sanjay Jagdale
This is not the first time Dikshit has made such remarks on a public platform and will surely not be her last. However, the fact is, the CM is not wrong. Compared to most metros or even neighbouring states, Delhi enjoys the lowest tariff rates. At Rs 2.90 for 200 units a month and Rs 4.43 for 400 units, it is lower than Mumbai (Rs 4.91 and Rs 5.95 respectively), Bangalore and Kolkata. Haryana, with Rs 4.14 and Rs 4.60, is the lowest after Delhi.
While Delhi's power tariff has increased steadily for three years now — 22 per cent in 2011, 26 per cent for domestic consumers in 2012 and 3 per cent from February 1, 2013 — this is against a scenario of uninterrupted power supply. Not too long ago, Delhi's infamous power cuts could last anywhere from 30 minutes to seven hours, and generators or inverters were vital to survive.
But a decade after unbundling the power sector, the Capital can cite other numbers. From 24.51 lakh consumers in 2001, the number was up to 42.36 lakh in March 2012. While the sale of air conditioners has remained steady — around three lakh every year since 2011 — the sale of generators and inverters has been falling (from 3,69,546 in 2009-2010 to 2,62,702 in 2011-2012).
"Except for a few technical problems, there are hardly any power cuts," point out officials.
The fact also is that while bulk power costs have risen over 300 per cent (Rs 1.4 to over Rs 5 per unit) in 10 years, the retail tariff has increased by around 65 per cent.
The discoms have brought down transmission and distribution losses, which ail any city in any state, from a massive 58 per cent in 2003 to around 13 per cent at present. The government claimed these would eventually benefit the consumer and bring down costs, but the discoms claim that the money saved is being channelled into improving the existing infrastructure. In the next few years, they promise, the consumers would reap the benefits.
Apurva is a principal correspondent, based in Delhi
- Fixing probe now reaches Bollywood, son of Dara Singh held
- BCCI cashes Pune Warriors guarantee, 'disgusted' Sahara walks out of IPL
- Sreesanth spent Rs 1.95L on clothes, bought friend BlackBerry, paid in cash: Police
- Delhi firm with MoD as client is linked to Pak cyberattacks
- After Infosys, iGATE sacks Phaneesh Murthy for sexual misconduct
- 2 weeks after harassment, Haryana schoolgirls return, cops in tow