New Delhi: Skyrocketing prices and lack of general amenities especially the most essential one, the water supply, as if were not enough to increase the woes of the people of Delhi. Now in a major blow to the multi-problem afflicted residents of Delhi, power tariff for homes has been over 20 percent which comes into effect from Monday. The fresh hike is the fourth one in mere 10 months which has provoked public outcry to demand its withdrawal.

The hike was announced by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) on Wednesday. New rates coerce the consumers to pay above 20 percent more for the consumption of electricity.
 
"While the average power tariff (domestic) has been hiked by 20.87 percent, power will be dearer by 19.49 percent for commercial use," DERC chairman P.D. Sudhakar said.

Public reaction

Resident welfare associations (RWAs) in the city immediately opposed the hike in power tariff and asked Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to announce a rollback.

"The chief minister should roll back the power tariff hike, as it will have exponential impact on middle class and poor people," said Randeep Guleria, president of the Chittaranjan Park RWA.

New Rates

According to DERC, the domestic consumer will be charged Rs.3.70 per unit for the first 200 units of power instead of the current Rs.3. For the next 200 units, the consumers will have to pay Rs.4.80 per unit of power. For consumption above 400 units, Rs.6.40 per unit will be charged instead of current Rs.5.70.

Commercial users will have to pay Rs.8.84 a unit instead of Rs.7.40 a unit. Each unit of power for industrial use will cost Rs.7.69 as against Rs.6.39. Citing a financial crunch, the private distribution companies had sought a hike in the tariff.

The Delhi Metro's power tariff rates have been increased to Rs.5 a unit from Rs.3.80 a unit.

The regulator in August last year had hiked the tariff by 22 percent for all categories of consumers. The tariff was hiked by five percent in February and by upto two percent in May to adjust the power purchase cost of the distribution companies.

The hike in areas served by NDPL will be around 27.88 percent while the increase in areas served by BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd will be 25.47 percent and 25.29 percent respectively.

Justification for hike

Justifying the hike, the DERC had said the combined deficits of three discoms have been estimated at around Rs 6,000 crore and there was no alternative but to hike the tariff.

As per the new rates, a domestic consumer will be charged Rs 3.70 per unit for the first 200 units of power instead of the current Rs 3. Consumers having a monthly usages of upto 400 units will have to pay Rs 4.80 per unit of power.

For consumption above 400 units, Rs 6.40 per unit will be charged instead of current Rs 5.70, Sudhakar said.

The increase may also lead to hike in metro fares and water charges as DERC announced separate rates for power being supplied to these two entities.

(JPN/Agencies)

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