The power distribution companies, or discoms, in the capital have not taken kindly the AAP government’s accusation that they were looting people by increasing tariff.
To counter the radio ads of the government, discoms have turned to radio jockeys — the companies are calling them ‘radio journalists’ — to get their message across.
In these ads, the ‘radio journalists’ argue the case for increased power tariff.
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Apart from jingles focusing on the services provided by the Reliance-owned BSES discoms, three of the ads focus just on power tariff.
Justifying the increase in tariff, the ads argue that the power distribution companies buy electricity from the Central or state government, that too at a price that has gone up by 300 per cent.
The radio jockey then explains that despite this, the discoms have kept the hike at a minimum as over the last 12 years, the hike has only been 90 per cent.
“Isn’t that amazing? In 12 years, Delhi has changed a lot and for the better. Power-related issues have come down.. cool naa,” the jockey concludes.
Another jingle focuses on the cost incurred on buying power from government companies. It talks about how discoms have no say on deciding the power tariff.
“Isko to regulator fix karta hai jo ki ek quasi-judicial body hai (Tariff is fixed by the regulator, which is a quasi-judicial body),” the ad says.
It adds that despite the high rates at which power is purchased, tariffs are low compared to neighbouring states.
In the third jingle, a girl says, “Hi guys, what’s up? Our power tariff is… You must be thinking why have I started talking about tariff. I was reading that Delhi’s power rates compared to neighbouring states are lower and I am glad that I live in Delhi and pay less for electricity.”
The Arvind Kejriwal government, soon after coming to power, went after the discoms and demanded a CAG audit.
Power Minister Satyendra Jain maintained that power discoms could sell electricity at a cheaper rate.