Hurt of darkness
The plight of the national capital seems to be forever hanging in balance as power discoms and ineffectual government indulge in competitive pettiness. As Delhi faces high-level power crisis, seeing more than six-seven hours of power cuts daily, the retail sharks and bureaucrats keep passing the buck. In fact, as power demand peaks and Delhi gets immersed in heart of darkness, political parties indulge in a game of one-upmanship over power tariffs. Despite Kejriwal-led former AAP government’s efforts to lower the tariff by 50 per cent for majority of low-end residential users, and ordering CAG to audit the three private discoms in the capital, the current situation can only be called a big mess. Areas under Reliance-owned companies are facing far starker power crises than the regions covered by Tata Power, thereby casting serious doubts on the integrity and intentions of the two BSES power discoms. There have been grave allegations against the power companies, ranging from overcharging the customers, selling surplus power at ‘profitable’ rates to other clients while showing huge losses in their financial statements. The discoms are not cooperating with CAG, stating that central auditor is not authorised to scrutinise private companies’ accounts. However, amid all the mud-slinging, it is the common man who is facing the heat. While the former AAP government in Delhi claimed discoms have sold surplus power at profitable rate and hence the shortage, the regulators said the ‘assumption’ of Delhi government is hypothetical. People should not be punished for the faults of government and bureaucracy. The issue has to be dealt with once and for all with a sound policy in place. Hope the wait for CAG’s audit report doesn’t become another endless one.