What will come out of a protest now …… Govt. does not listen to such protests …… I do not wish to be associated with politicians …… why should we join that group ……. but I am a Congress supporter so cannot be seen openly opposed to this hike, but I support you ……. I would rather pay more than be seen protesting on the streets ………
2) Get MLAs to raise it in Vidhan Sabha – The MLAs should have raised it in the Vidhan Sabha but do they have the Researched Facts for an informed debate in the house. Only one MLA (Congress) got in touch with some of us to understand the details and we gladly shared our research. He has promised to debate it in the house. We hope something positive will come out of it …. if not we are not any worse off.
3) Go to High Court – We can go to the Courts armed with the facts, but that is just what the Government wants us to do ….. the case will hang in court till eternity and they keep raising tariffs leaving us nowhere else to go, the matter being sub-judice. This is and will be our last resort …..
4) Get the Public involved – Let’s face it, we as a group do not have the following to get people to hit the streets. We can drum up support on Email, Facebook etc but that does not count ….. neither the Govt. nor the Media gets impressed. Yes it makes for great Drawing debate but no instant results. Mr. Vijay Goel (BJP) got in touch with some of us and offered to help make it a Mass Movement …… after some deliberation we decided to make common cause and fight it unitedly.
Bijli Andolan …. Ten Demands that MUST be Met
1. HOLD POWER TARIFF HIKE TILL CAG AUDIT ……. There should be no tariff enhancement till CAG Audit establishes the true state of Finances and Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICA) establishes the inventory and Tariff Determination Procedure. DISCOMS will be in no hurry to furnish records to CAG and ICA and will try to delay the process and keep earning heavy profits.
2. CONSUMER SHOULD NOT PAY FOR POWER THEFT ….. DISCOMS keep asking for tariff hike but remain quite about reducing tariffs on account of reduction in Distribution losses. Distribution losses should be borne by the DISCOMS as it is their responsibility to curb theft and leakages. We can grant them a nominal 3% cost on account of Distribution loss as per international practice and no more.
3. ABOLISH FIXED CHARGE ……They are also charging Twice under the same head by way of Fixed Charge for having incurred capital expenditure and getting 16% return on capital expenditure. Earlier this was Minimum Charge and was adjusted if the consumption exceeded minimum usage. All the infrastructure is in place and even after charging the recent Load Enhancement Security Deposit, DISCOMS have collected Crorers of Rupees and have not installed higher load meters nor have they changed any wires/cables. Therefore Fixed Charge should be abolished as we had demanded in all previous Hearings.
4. ENSURE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS …….11 years on they have yet not adhered to the Performance Standards on Quality, Stability, Reliability, Cheaper Power, Curbing Theft (in theft prone areas), Beautification of city (ugly over head wires still dot the skyline) and Setting up Power Plants. First they should perform as per the agreed Performance Standards then only we look at any other demand.
5. PENALIZE DISCOMS FOR POWER CUTS ……. Rampant power cuts are keeping the Inverter Industry alive and the consumer foots the bill for charging and maintaining inverters amounting to average Rs. 1200/- per month.
6. IMPOSE PUNITIVE DAMAGES ON DISCOMS FOR FLEECING COMSUMERS DUE TO FAST METERS …. Independent investigation involving RWAs into the compatibility of distribution technology and the design of electronic meters vis the use of Common Neutral for separate connections and residual flow being recorded and charged to the consumer. Field Survey/Awareness Campaign involving RWAs to establish that DISCOMS have provided separate neutral to each consumer up to the Metering Point as per relevant Act/Code.
7. IMPOSE PUNITIVE DAMAGES ON DISCOMS FOR NOT PROVIDING STABLE POWER ….. Field Survey/Awareness Campaign involving RWAs to establish if they have matched the Absolute Earth Potential to the Neutral for stable power supply as per relevant Act/Code. Consumers are paying a heavy price due to expensive equipment being burnt and burdened with the additional cost of buying, running and maintaining stabilisers.
8. INVESTIGATE DISCOMS CLAIM OF UNDER RECOVERIES ….. DISCOMS have spread terror amongts the consumers by sending notices of recoveries amounting to lakhs of Rupees and filing frivolous cases. These are then shown to DERC as Under Recoveries/Losses to seek Higher Tariffs.
9. DO NOT TURN A BLIND EYE TO DISCOMS FUNCTIONING …..Transparency in the DISCOMS procurement/tendering process for equipment and Power Purchase. DISCOMS should place on website details of power purchased ie. Source, Price, Quantity etc. so that consumers can keep track of competitive prices from the Power Exchange.
10. END MONOPOLY AND REVISIT PPP CONTRACT WITH DISCOMS …… End Monopoly and invite more DISCOMS for healthy competition, which should have been done year 2005 onwards. Renegotiate the terms of Partnership Agreement.