The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has said that it will launch a stir, christened ‘Bijli Andolan-2’, against Captain Amarinder Singh government to demand a roll back of the power tariff hike, which has been imposed “time and again” in Punjab.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the state AAP legislators, led by Leader of the Opposition (LoP) Harpal Singh Cheema, Delhi Chief Minister and national convener of the party Arvind Kejriwal and in-charge Punjab affairs Manish Sisodia in Delhi on Sunday.
In a joint statement issued from party headquarters, Sunam MLA Aman Arora and party youth wing in-charge and legislator Meet Hayer said that the decision was taken in view of the recent power hike by the state government.
Arora said that after assuming power in the state, Amarinder Singh had been indulging in an open “loot” by increasing power tariff in the state which, he said, was already sky high. He lamented that the electricity tariff had been hiked yet again immediately after the Lok Sabha elections were over, which reflected the anti-public face of the government in the saddle. He said it was a “gift” from the Congress government to the people of Punjab for helping it retain eight Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Arora said the Congress government during its nearly two-and-a-half year’s tenure has hiked power tariff five times, whereas the Delhi government had, instead of increasing the tariff, reduced it substantially. He accused the Punjab government of being in hand and glove with the private companies like the previous Badal government.
Quoting latest reports, Arora said that the state government had been charging 20 per cent over and above the per unit rate fixed by the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission for domestic, commercial-industrial power consumers.
Arora and Hayer said they will first try to bring the government on board over the recent raise in power tariff by holding meetings with it. However, if the government failed to review its decision, it would be left with no choice but to hold state-level protests.
8-hour power supply to paddy growers
Chandigarh: The Punjab government Monday assured eight hours of power supply on a daily basis to paddy growers in the state during the sowing season starting June 13. The government also promised uninterrupted power supply to other categories of consumers. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Monday held a meeting with representatives of state-owned power utilities, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) and Punjab State Transmission Corporation (PSTCL), according to an official release. He directed PSPCL and PSTCL to ensure round-the-clock supply during summer and paddy season to all areas of the state. The power companies briefed Amarinder about the arrangements made for meeting demand of 14,000 MW, even though the demand was likely to be 13,500 MW, it said. The officials of the power companies informed that good level of water in dams would also help in more hydro generation from PSPCL’s own hydel plants as well as that from Bhakra Beas Management Board.