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DERC ‘corrects’ power tariff structure

DERC ‘corrects’ power tariff structure
In the wake of widespread complaints of inflated power bills, Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) on Wednesday proposed to make certain adjustments in power tariff structure which may bring relief to a majority of consumers.

DERC has now proposed to revert to the original tariff structure which will mean restoration of the slab for consumption between 201-400 units which was abolished by the regulator while effecting a 26 per cent hike in tariff for domestic consumers in June.

The abolition of the slab and introduction of 0-400 slab had resulted in a 33 per cent jump in electricity bills of majority of consumers whose consumption exceed 200 units.

The DERC has proposed to charge Rs 5.70 per unit for consumption between 201-400 units.

‘We have proposed to restore the original slabs which will mean restoration of the slab for consumption between 201-400 units and abolition of the new 0-400 slab,’ DERC chairman P D Sudhakar said.

He said DERC will conduct a public hearing on the issue for seeking comments of the stakeholders on the proposal on October 8 following which a final decision will be taken. The regulator proposed to change in slab with retrospective effect from 1 July when hiked tariff came into effect.

As per existing slab, if a consumer’s monthly consumption goes above 200 units then he is charged Rs 4.80 per unit for the entire consumption as against previous arrangement of different rates for first 200 units and the next 200 units.

A domestic consumer is now charged Rs 3.70 per unit for first 200 units of power instead of earlier Rs 3. Consumers having a monthly usages of upto 400 units are charged Rs 4.80 per unit.

If the new proposal goes through, then consumers will be charged Rs 3.70 for first 200 units and then Rs 5.70 for consumption between 201 to 400 units.

Resident Welfare Associations have been strongly demanding restoration of the original slabs. MLAs cutting across party lines have also been demanding reverting to the original slab structure.

Sudhakar said the commission solicits participation of all stakeholders including Delhi Government representatives, officials from private power distribution companies and RWAs to the public hearing.


NO LATE FEE FOR WATER BILLS

Under attack for ‘inflated’ water bills, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday announced waiver on late payment fee and interest on arrears for water and sewerage charges levied by Delhi Jal Board (DJB). Dikshit, who is also Chairperson of DJB, after a lengthy meeting with senior ministers, MLAs and top officials of the agency, said consumers will require to clear the current bills only.

‘DJB will organise special camps across Delhi to resolve billing issues in the next two months. Dispute Resolution Committees will be set up to settle issues relating to billing,’ Dikshit said. A campaign will soon be launched for settling arrears in the bills, she said.

‘We are taking a number of measures to provide relief to the consumers. The measures include waiving off late payment surcharge for domestic consumers,’ she said.

The government has been flooded with complaints of inflated water and power bills in the last few months.

The Chief Minister also instructed the DJB to install notice boards outside all its zonal offices to inform people about the government’s decision for settlement of arrears and waiving off late payment surcharge. Dikshit instructed DJB Chief Executive Officer Debashree Mukherjee to set up a special cell in her office to deal complaints and suggestions of MPs and MLAs. The MLAs made a number of suggestions which included ensuring issuance of monthly bill, introduction of slab-based charges for ‘jhughi jhopri’ and resettlement colonies and setting up of a permanent grievance redressal mechanism.
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