The AAP hailed the new tariff order of the DERC as an outcome of its “honest governance”, while the BJP and the Congress picked on the hike in fixed charges to challenge the claim.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter to “congratulate” the people of Delhi over the DERC announcement. “Delhi is having the cheapest power in the entire country. Delhi has chosen an honest government. Its people are happy today,” he tweeted. The Kejriwal government has maintained that power bills in Delhi are inflated due to “irregularities” on part of private distribution companies.
दिल्ली के लोगों को बहुत बहुत बधाई। पूरे देश में सबसे सस्ती बिजली आज दिल्ली में मिल रही है। दिल्ली ने ईमानदार सरकार चुनी। आज दिल्ली के लोग ख़ुश हैं https://t.co/Qlseus7F7V
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 28, 2018
DERC, a quasi-judicial body, does not fall under the jurisdiction of the government. Currently, it is manned by only one member, while the posts of chairperson and a member are vacant. “By increasing fixed costs, the Kejriwal government has extended benefits to private companies,” Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta said. Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken claimed it will result in consumers having to pay large sums despite not using as much power.
When contacted, the discoms refused to comment, but pointed to how states like Bihar, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Mizoram have seen tariff hikes in 2018. DERC member BP Singh, who briefed reporters, said even after raising the fixed charge, the fixed cost could not be met.