Powering us down
While a Swedish cosmetic company is planning to brighten the Moon in order to bring down the electricity costs worldwide, our national capital needs more shorter-term and immediate interventions to ease its power woes. Left without the 50 per cent subsidy on power consumption up to 400 units, in other words almost 80 per cent of Delhi’s non-commercial and residential consumers, are now struggling with staggering pay bills. In addition to the relentless inflation and rise in prices of all the essential commodities, including food and duel, the escalated water and power bills have seriously impinged on the lives of Delhi’s aam aadmi. After the former Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government legislated the commendable subsidy for consumers belonging to middle and lower classes, the lieutenant governor should have intervened to ensure that the landmark legislation continued beyond 31 March, when it ended. Since then, power discoms have held the Delhi power retail sector hostage, burdening the consumers with additional 10 per cent surcharge, over and above the metered bill. In fact, L-G Najeeb Jung, should have at least stepped in to continue with the lesser Congress government-implemented subsidy on the first two slabs of power consumption, up to 400 units, once the AAP government’s legislation went out of effect on 1 April, and should have allowed power subsidy in the interim state budget. In fact, Delhi high court’s refusal to continue AAP’s scheme, in the wake of dispute between the discoms and state-run generation companies, has only worsened the condition of consumers in the national capital. In the interest of Delhi’s beleaguered millions, it is important that Jung ups the ante and makes a personal effort to relieve the harrowed consumers of the Capital.