*Date:15/07/2006* *URL:

New Delhi <http://www.thehindu.com/2006/07/15/24hdline.htm>

*RWAs' convention demands CBI probe*

Staff Reporter

  *CBI should probe into entire gamut of power privatisation in Delhi *

 NEW DELHI: Coming down heavily on the Delhi Government for its failure to
rein in the private power distribution companies, the All-Delhi Residents'
Welfare Associations (RWA) convention on Friday demanded a Central Bureau of
Investigation probe into the entire gamut of privatisation of power in
Delhi. It also demanded implementation of the much talked about Vats
Committee report on the subject to bring out the truth.

Representatives of RWAs from across the Capital gathered at India
International Centre and severely criticised the power privatisation process
that they felt had brought nothing but misery, harassment and financial
burden on consumers. They were also agitated over the muted response of the
Delhi Government and its continued attempts at defending the poor
performance of the private distribution companies.

BJP comes under fire

Similarly, while the Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Jagdish
Mukhi, lambasted the privatisation of power, the BJP itself came under fire
for having failed to effectively discharge their function as a strong
Opposition. Sensing the situation getting out of hand, Mr. Mukhi sought
leave of the audience with the plea that he had to reach somewhere to attend
a meeting. However, the audience was won over by senior Congress leader and
MLA S. C. Vats who had penned the PAC report that had pointed to a scam in
the privatisation of power and had recommended strong action against senior

"I was under pressure"

Answering questions later, Dr. Vats said he had been under tremendous
pressure not to come out with such a report but he decided to side with the
harassed consumers and to bring out the truth. Stating that virtually
everything was wrong with the privatisation of power sector in Delhi, Dr.
Vats said conditions were changed under the influence of big business houses
and the Core Committee of bureaucrats that negotiated the entire deal
allegedly fell to monetary incentives and changed their opinion and
recommendations to the Delhi Cabinet overnight.

Urging the Capital's citizens to take the movement forward and seek
accountability of the Government on such important public issues, Dr. Vats
said it was time for such group to re-group themselves and take on the
powers that be so that the Governments take decisions in the interest of the
people and not individuals or companies.

The convention, organised by People's Action, also passed a resolution
seeking an immediate CBI enquiry into the privatisation of erstwhile Delhi
Vidyut Board and implementation of the Vats Committee report. The resolution
also demanded dismissal of private power companies and the appointment of a
"government administrator" until the enquiry findings were made public.

Abani Roy of the Revolutionary Socialist Party seconded the opinion
expressed by the RWA representatives present there.


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