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Delhi gets cheapest electricity in country

4.5 years ago, electricity sector was in a complete mess: CM

NEW DELHI: Nearly six months before the scheduled assembly polls in Delhi, in a pre-election sop, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced that electricity in the capital would be free for those who consume less than 200 units a month while those who consume between 201 and 400 units would be given a 50 per cent subsidy by the state government. This major relief to electricity consumers has come to effect immediately, meaning the new scheme has been implemented from 1st August itself.

Upto 200 units of electricity will be free in Delhi from Thursday, Arvind Kejriwal announced on Thursday. Any consumer consumed power between 201 and 400 units will be at half price as the Delhi government will provide 50 per cent subsidy, he added.

"Delhi is supplying the cheapest electricity in the country today. In Mumbai, 200 units cost Rs 1400, Delhi will pay zero. Mumbai pays Rs 3310 for 400 units, Delhi pays Rs1075. Bangalore pays Rs135p for 20p units, Delhi pays 0. For 400 units, Bangalore pays Rs 2910 and Delhi only pays Rs 1075. Gurgaon pays Rs 975 for 200, Rs 1820 for 400 units. Noida pays Rs1310 for 200 units and for 400 units, almost Rs 2500. In Amritsar under congress, Rs1318 for 200 and for 400 units, it is Rs 2700," said the Chief Minister.

Tracing the journey of major electricity sector reforms in Delhi, CM Kejriwal claimed that when his government was formed four and a half years ago, the electricity sector was in a complete mess. "Today electricity consumers are getting 24x7 electricity at cheapest rates in the country, discoms financial health has improved considerably, electricity infrastructure has been strengthened beyond imagination and people no longer need inverters and generators in Delhi," he said. He also talked about how the party fought against the Congress party for electricity bill hike. "In 2013, we had launched a movement against exploitative electricity bills. Whichever house we would go to at the time, people would show use their bills that went into thousands for 100-200 units of consumption. During our 49-day government in 2014, on 8 or 9 February an interesting incident occurred," he said.

CM Kejriwal also said that in the Congress regime electricity distribution companies were in such financial distress that they didn't have any cash left to continue operations. "They gave us an ultimatum that if the government doesn't give us a certain sum to bail us out, Delhi will face a blackout the next day. They said they don't have any money to purchase electricity," said the Chief Minister.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asserted that earlier Delhiites faced four major electricity problems such as each year Delhi's power tariffs would be hiked arbitrarily. When asked about the allegations of giving "freebies" before the election, Delhi CM Kejriwal questioned, "Nobody says anything if the VIPs and big politicians get free power. Why deprive the common man? Am I wrong in taking this step."

The CM's announcement came a day after the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) also reduced the burden on consumers by reducing fixed charges for most domestic connections by up to 84 per cent. CM Kejriwal had congratulated the citizens and said this was the fifth straight year that power tariffs were not raised. DERC kept the energy charges the same for all categories, except for those who consume more than 1,200 units per month. A household whose electricity consumption crosses 1,200 units a month will have to pay 25 paise extra per unit and will be charged Rs 8 per unit.

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