Dikshit denies Kejriwal's charges on power tariff

New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal Friday accused Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit of conniving with power distribution companies and not allowing lowering of tariff but Dikshit rejected the charge and termed the allegations an "utter lie".

"Their allegations are baseless and completely false. This is an utter lie. NDPL and DERC have denied it. The matter is sub judice," Dikshit told IANS.

Citing an April 2010 draft order by former Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) chairman Brijender Singh, Kejriwal told media persons here that his assessment found that power distribution companies would make a profit of Rs.3,577 crore and henceforth tariff should be reduced by 23 percent.

The order, copies of which were circulated among the media, read: "The reduction in tariff is likely to be sustained in the future years as well, since the energy availability from new power plants is going to increase substantially."

It also said that reduction in tariff was appropriate not only for financial year 2010-11 but was most likely to continue.

Kejriwal, however, said Dikshit came to rescue of the companies when they "went running" to the Delhi government in 2010.

"Brijender Singh was supposed to issue the order May 5, 2010. The Delhi government wrote a letter to him May 4 and stopped him from issuing his order," Kejriwal said.

He showed a copy of the Delhi government's letter and accused present DERC chairman P.D. Sudhakar of acting as an "agent" of power distribution companies.

Kejriwal also said that power companies owned by the Anil Ambani Group showed zero bills for a number of consumers, including the Delhi Airport and the Delhi Jal Board.

Sudhakar refuted the allegations. "This is baseless and the alleged profits made by power companies were projected profits," he told IANS.

He said power tariff should have been half of what it was now and the companies earned profits amounting to Rs.3,577 crore.

"The allegations posed are completely baseless, wild and highly deplorable for the power sector. The issues raised have no relation whatsoever with the ground realities and are meant for personal gains," said a spokesperson from BSES, a power discom in the capital.

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