Reality Check on Electricity: Forget London, AAP’s populism is reducing Delhi to a backward state

kejriwal aap london
Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Recently Mr. Kejriwal told Delhi citizens that if AAP is voted to power in Municipal Elections it will turn Delhi into London within 1 year.

Nothing wrong with poll time promises.

The challenge however is in the implementation of it. Realizing it, Mr. Kejriwal also issued excuses shortly thereafter. A close look at the Propaganda machinery that AAP runs vs. reality on the ground will reveal startling example of the ‘speed’ and ‘efficiency’ the party claims will change the face of Delhi and in their own version the fate of this country.

Let’s have a look at the Case of Power Situation in Delhi

AAP came to power on 10th Feb 2015 riding on great expectations from people of Delhi who believed in them. After the initial euphoria was over and summer set in came along the frequent power cuts troubling the citizens in seething heat of the city.

Claim 1

AAP made a tall promise in June 2015, it told Delhi that “Power discoms need to be more efficient and their careless attitude will not be tolerated as far as power cuts are concerned. We have sent a detailed proposal to the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission and we will implement it soon,” Power minister Satyendra Jain had said. (Hindustan Times, June 17, 2015)

Reality Check 1

The DERC (Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission) under the guidance of AAP government did not issue any changes till 4th Amendment in Delhi Electricity Supply Code and Performance Standards until after end of March 2016 (when it was still asking for ideas from citizens).

It took advent of another summer to make the change, the comment of making the change ‘soon’ took a whole year.

Claim 2

The angry CM in 2015 claimed he will make the Discoms pay heavily for the woes of Delhi Citizens and in mid-2016 AAP government finally amended the law and Rs 50-100/hour type penalty clause was put on paper. Please note ‘put on paper’.

Reality Check 2

The so called stringent clauses inserted range from 2 Hours of inconvenience to Delhi Citizens – up to 20 Days of issues (e.g. for rectification of power transformer). That’s a hugely spread measure of Performance! We thought idea was accountability?

Secondly, in the same amendment the Clauses clearly articulate that a Delhi Consumer will only be compensated by way of adjustment in bill within 90 days if he/she registers a complaint with one of the 3 Electricity Supplying companies. By Design AAP has not introduced a Direct Credit for impacted consumers. Practically this means, with any power failure it’s safe to imagine even a small Delhi community (e.g. a Colony or a Vihar) has no less than 30-50 thousand citizens living in it and a large one could have couple of Lakhs, who all must rush to make simultaneous complaints. Which complaint registration department is equipped to handle lakhs of calls or as many customer walk ins in 2 hours?

A clear example of Purposely Designed to Fail initiative.

The Other Realties

AAP Government swears by pro-people measures. However, on the ground, the populism attempts fall flat when they are tested with facts.

The Delhi Government forces the Businessmen in Delhi to pay high rates for Electricity:

In Delhi, Tariff for Commercial category is Third highest in the country
Nearly 20% higher than the All India average tariff
Nearly double in comparison to Goa, Haryana, Jharkhand, Gujarat.

Agriculture tariffs for Electricity are much higher
22% higher than the All India average tariff
Significantly higher in comparison to Jharkhand, Haryana, Goa, J&K, Odisha, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana

In Delhi, Tariff for Industrial HT category is Second highest in the country
21% higher than the All India average tariff
Significantly higher in comparison to Jharkhand, Haryana, Goa, J&K, Chattisgarh, Gujarat

In Delhi, Tariff for Industrial LT category is Highest in the country
36% higher than the All India average tariff
Significantly higher in comparison to Jharkhand, Haryana, Goa, J&K, Chattisgarh, Gujarat

The inconvenient truth is that AAP populism is funded by the Tax Payer of Delhi. Before coming to Power AAP promised Audit on Discoms by which the impression was created that they will bring down power tariffs as a continual process of improvement.

Unfortunately, no Audits have happened and AAP relies on subsidies to remain ‘popular’, when other States are practically making a change. For example:

For initial 200 units, Punjab state has reduced tariff by 9.2% in 2015-16 in comparison to previous year. Similarly, J&K has reduced tariff by 7% in 2015-16 in comparison to previous year.

The Cost of Electricity Subsidy is a whopping 1600 Crores, which unfortunately deviates the government from implementing other pro Delhi initiatives. The Subsidy takes away following from Delhi Citizens:

It reduces the Smart City budget to just 1/8th of what it could be.
Takes away nearly 1/3rd of money that could be spent on Public Health
The subsidy is equal to 1/5th of the whole Education Budget.

Clearly the London Dreams are not in sight. Of course, Mr. Kejriwal has already confirmed it!!

Article by: Abhishek Sharma