Dear Geeta

Thanks for informing.


>From: Gita Dewan Verma <[email protected]>
>Reply-To: Master plan issues in media <[email protected]>
>To: [email protected]
>Subject: [Mpisgmedia] Power tariff hike  blame slums?
>Date: Sat, 12 Jun 2004 10:48:38 -0700 (PDT)
>Text of letter to DERC chairman about media reports of
>News reports today, most quoting you, convey the
>impression that slum residents have been paying a
>Discoms flat rate of 175/- and will continue to pay
>the same while tariff for others is being hiked. The
>Hindustan Times, for instance, starts its front page
>report with "Starting next weekend, every Delhiite who
>does not live in a jhuggi-jhonpri (JJ) cluster will
>have to pay more" and ends it with "JJ colonies will
>be subsidised by the rest of the city".
>It is convenient to blame JJ clusters for problems,
>but that does nothing to solve the problems. The
>defunct 'bijli thekedari' scheme for JJ clusters, you
>would recall, arose in 1997 out of blaming them for
>power theft and it soon became obvious that major
>theft was elsewhere, including in NDMC area, spared
>tariff hike this year. Again, media reports are both
>malicious and misleading.
>Firstly, consumers in JJ clusters are not paying to
>Discoms because Discoms are not supplying electricity
>to them, but to 'bijli thekedars' (licensed by DVB)
>who seem, since privatization, to be collecting but
>not paying to anybody. It is these 'bijli thekedars'
>and not their paying consumers in JJ Clusters that the
>whole city is subsidizing in absence of action to
>recover arrears, possibly running into hundreds of
>crores, from them.
>Secondly, DERC came out with a 'scheme' for
>electricity supply at flat rate of 175/- by Discoms in
>JJ clusters only two and a half months ago (on
>26.03.04) and subsequently clarified that this was
>only for un-electrified clusters. Nearly all JJ
>clusters are electrified by 'bijli thekedars' and in
>the few that are not the 'scheme' seems not to be in
>force yet. There can be no question of hiking or not
>hiking the flat-rate tariff of 175/- for JJ clusters
>because this flat-rate tariff is not in effect.
>Thirdly, what JJ consumers are paying (to 'bijli
>thekedars') is actually higher than what comparable
>consumers are paying to Discoms (because of state
>subsidy). For example:
>* The rate 'bijli thekedars' charge is as per DERC,
>ie, 1.75/unit for 0-100 slab, etc, while the rate
>others in this slab were paying to Discoms was 1.50
>after subsidy. Flat-rate of 175/- was the top end
>amount (without subsidy) for this slab and the order
>of 27.03.04 (before the present hike), did not account
>for subsidy and, in effect, sought to over-charge JJ
>* JJ consumers are already paying more than the
>flat-rate of 240/- up to 50 sq.yd plot now proposed in
>unauthorized colonies (which Pioneer sympathetically
>says "have not been spared"). In The Hindu you are
>quoted saying that on average those consumers use
>640/- worth of electricity (which comes to 188 units
>at cost of 3.40/unit). For the same consumption JJ
>consumers, in smaller plots, have been paying 330/- by
>the metre at 1.75/unit, if not more.
>In view of all this, I request you to make public the
>following, so we know who is subsidizing who:
>(1) details of arrears due from 'bijli thekedars' in
>JJ Clusters
>(2) details of JJ clusters electrified by Discoms
>since 26.03.04 under the 175/- flat-rate scheme
>(3) DERC's 'detailed analysis' of JJ clusters
>(referred to in para 4 of its order of 26.03.04)
>In view of National Common Minimum Programme
>commitments to, besides power privatization, welfare
>of weaker sections and also accountable government and
>responsive administration, perhaps you might also want
>to consider issuing a statement about the malicious
>and misleading media reportage about consumers in JJ
>clusters who have been seeking from you, in vain, a
>hearing about their problems since 2002.
>Yours sincerely
>Gita Dewan Verma / Planner
>Previous posts about DERC order of 26.03.04
>Hundreds of objections to the order for JJ clusters,
>along with requests for hearing, were submitted to
>DERC through April. In the beginning of May DERC
>replied to all to clarify that its JJ order was only
>for un-electrified JJ clusters. Demand for hearing
>remains. I will post a full account with all
>correspondence since 2002 asap.
>mpisgmedia mailing list
>[email protected]

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