[no subject]

DERC order of 26.03.04 allowing Discoms to recover 100
crores for development already done and while sweeping
under the carpet the larger scam by electricity
contractors affects all electricity consumers as well
as the election.
In the last month hundreds have written to object to
the order and demand a hearing about it. Some of these
have now decided to use their right to refuse to vote
to protest this scam. This is the translated text of
their statement.

---
DERC ORDER FOR A SCAM OR HUNDREDS OF CRORES DAYS
BEFORE ELECTIONS
DECISION BY CITIZENS SEEKING A HEARING TO PROTEST BY
USING THEIR RIGHT TO 'REFUSE TO VOTE'

A key principle of development by law in Delhi is
'cross subsidy', ie, charging the rich and profitable
uses more and the poor less development charge. The
price of a DDA flat, for instance, includes a cross
subsidy contribution for low income housing
development, inclusive of electricity. Those living in
slums on account of backlog on low income housing
development have additionally paid, besides bills,
electricity development charges to private contractors
under the scheme started under DESU. Many have also
done so again after resettlement.

In several places, in a nexus between contractors and
politicians, the bill amount recovered did not reach
government in full. After privatization, Discoms
washed their hands off this scheme altogether. 4 lakh
consumers are paying bills, but Discoms are recovering
this amount not from the contractors but from higher
tariffs from others. This scam was exposed before
Assembly elections with reference to CAG report,
though it was not clarified that all consumers are
paying the hundreds of crores being looted by
contractors or that in the nexus for this loot other
illegal activities and petty politics are also
thriving.

Now DERC has issued an order on 26.03.04 on a proposal
by Discoms that they be allowed to recover, besides a
monthly user charge, development charge of Rs.4000 and
service line charge of Rs.1250 per connection in
slums. DERC has ordered, without a public hearing,
that they recover Rs.2400 cost of electrification per
connection, ie, Rs 96 crores from 4 lakh families,
half from slum consumers and half from others (as ARR
expense).

Delhi Power Minister announced the favour of 'waiver
of charges' for slum dwellers and 'relief' from power
theft for all, though the question of 'waiver' does
not arise since what Discoms will be charging Rs.2400
has already been provided by the contractors at the
slum residents? cost and the question of 'relief' also
does not arise since the theft is not by bill-paying
residents but by the contractors whose existence,
along with their loot, has been swept under the carpet
with the order.

Now Congress supporters in Badarpur area, where BJP
had raised the contracting scam before Assembly
elections against Delhi government, are raising
against Central government the demand for DDA to pay
half of Rs.5.5 crore electrification cost to replace
contractors with Discoms in resettlement colonies even
as the question of, besides re-development, recovery
from DDA after DERC order does not arise.

The question that does arise about licensing
unjustifiable Discoms recoveries and condoning
contractor loot at cost of hundreds of crores to
citizens by an order issued days before Lok Sabha
elections is who all stand to profit before and after
the election.

Hundreds have objected to this order in the last month.
Some have decided to try draw attention to this scam and its electoral politics by using their right to 'refuse to vote'.

---

previous post:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mpisgmedia/message/70





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