The elected representatives seem to have no interest in discussing revision of tariff as none of them turned up for a public hearing session conducted by the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) on Friday.
The electricity department has proposed a steep hike of upto 32 per cent in existing tariff. There are a total of 26 elected councillors representing as many wards of the city. The session is held by the commission for taking suggestions\bjections from general public and it holds significance as all the suggestions\objections are weighed by the commission before finalising the proposed tariff hike.
Congress councillor Subhash Chawla expressed ignorance about the public hearing session. “I am was not aware of the session nor received any intimation from the administration,” he said, adding that he would send his objections by post to the commission.
Mayor Arun Sood cited his busy schedule for not attending the session. “The timing of the session clashed with important meeting regarding making Chandigarh kerosene-free. In the past I have been regularly attending the session as it is an important platform provided by the government,” he said.
The Chandigarh electricity department and the commission had issued a public notice on three dates informing about the public hearing session.
UT superintending engineer M P Singh said: “The general public was informed well in time and no personal invites are sent by the department.”
With the elected representatives not showing up, the session evoked a poor response as objections were received from 10 bodies, mostly traders. Around 30 people had gathered for the event; some of them were employees of the department.
During the session which lasted three hours, various issues were discussed by different traders, industrial and resident welfare bodies.
Unhappy with the low turnout, social activist Ajay Jagga, who took part in the session, said: “Political representation is a must as it has a positive impact. It seems elected representatives are little interested in important issues pertaining to the masses.”
In the domestic category, the electricity department has proposed a hike from Rs 2.30 to Rs 3 in the slab of 0-150 units. It has proposed an increase from Rs 4.20 to Rs 5.50 in the slab of 151-400 units. In the commercial category, an increase from Rs 4.30 to Rs 5.70 in the slab of 0-150, Rs 4.50 to Rs 5.95 in the slab of 151-400 and Rs 4.70 to Rs 6.20 in the slab above 400 units has been proposed.
The department caters to 2.12 lakh consumers, of whom 1.75 lakh are in the domestic category.