RE: [Mpisgmedia] Power tariff hike blame slums?

<html><div style='background-color:'><DIV class=RTE>
<P>Dear Geeta</P>
<P>Thanks for informing.</P>
<DIV></DIV>&gt;From: Gita Dewan Verma &lt;[email protected]&gt; 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Reply-To: Master plan issues in media &lt;[email protected]&gt; 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;To: [email protected] 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Subject: [Mpisgmedia] Power tariff hike&nbsp;&nbsp;blame slums? 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Date: Sat, 12 Jun 2004 10:48:38 -0700 (PDT) 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Text of letter to DERC chairman about media reports of 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;News reports today, most quoting you, convey the 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;impression that slum residents have been paying a 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Discoms flat rate of 175/- and will continue to pay 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;the same while tariff for others is being hiked. The 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Hindustan Times, for instance, starts its front page 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;report with "Starting next weekend, every Delhiite who 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;does not live in a jhuggi-jhonpri (JJ) cluster will 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;have to pay more" and ends it with "JJ colonies will 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;be subsidised by the rest of the city". 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;It is convenient to blame JJ clusters for problems, 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;but that does nothing to solve the problems. The 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;defunct 'bijli thekedari' scheme for JJ clusters, you 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;would recall, arose in 1997 out of blaming them for 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;power theft and it soon became obvious that major 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;theft was elsewhere, including in NDMC area, spared 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;tariff hike this year. Again, media reports are both 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;malicious and misleading. 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Firstly, consumers in JJ clusters are not paying to 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Discoms because Discoms are not supplying electricity 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;to them, but to 'bijli thekedars' (licensed by DVB) 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;who seem, since privatization, to be collecting but 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;not paying to anybody. It is these 'bijli thekedars' 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;and not their paying consumers in JJ Clusters that the 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;whole city is subsidizing in absence of action to 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;recover arrears, possibly running into hundreds of 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;crores, from them. 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Secondly, DERC came out with a 'scheme' for 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;electricity supply at flat rate of 175/- by Discoms in 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;JJ clusters only two and a half months ago (on 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;26.03.04) and subsequently clarified that this was 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;only for un-electrified clusters. Nearly all JJ 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;clusters are electrified by 'bijli thekedars' and in 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;the few that are not the 'scheme' seems not to be in 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;force yet. There can be no question of hiking or not 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;hiking the flat-rate tariff of 175/- for JJ clusters 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;because this flat-rate tariff is not in effect. 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Thirdly, what JJ consumers are paying (to 'bijli 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;thekedars') is actually higher than what comparable 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;consumers are paying to Discoms (because of state 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;subsidy). For example: 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;* The rate 'bijli thekedars' charge is as per DERC, 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;ie, 1.75/unit for 0-100 slab, etc, while the rate 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;others in this slab were paying to Discoms was 1.50 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;after subsidy. Flat-rate of 175/- was the top end 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;amount (without subsidy) for this slab and the order 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;of 27.03.04 (before the present hike), did not account 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;for subsidy and, in effect, sought to over-charge JJ 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;* JJ consumers are already paying more than the 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;flat-rate of 240/- up to 50 sq.yd plot now proposed in 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;unauthorized colonies (which Pioneer sympathetically 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;says "have not been spared"). In The Hindu you are 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;quoted saying that on average those consumers use 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;640/- worth of electricity (which comes to 188 units 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;at cost of 3.40/unit). For the same consumption JJ 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;consumers, in smaller plots, have been paying 330/- by 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;the metre at 1.75/unit, if not more. 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;In view of all this, I request you to make public the 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;following, so we know who is subsidizing who: 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;(1) details of arrears due from 'bijli thekedars' in 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;JJ Clusters 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;(2) details of JJ clusters electrified by Discoms 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;since 26.03.04 under the 175/- flat-rate scheme 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;(3) DERC's 'detailed analysis' of JJ clusters 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;(referred to in para 4 of its order of 26.03.04) 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;In view of National Common Minimum Programme 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;commitments to, besides power privatization, welfare 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;of weaker sections and also accountable government and 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;responsive administration, perhaps you might also want 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;to consider issuing a statement about the malicious 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;and misleading media reportage about consumers in JJ 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;clusters who have been seeking from you, in vain, a 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;hearing about their problems since 2002. 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Yours sincerely 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Gita Dewan Verma / Planner 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Previous posts about DERC order of 26.03.04 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Hundreds of objections to the order for JJ clusters, 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;along with requests for hearing, were submitted to 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;DERC through April. In the beginning of May DERC 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;replied to all to clarify that its JJ order was only 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;for un-electrified JJ clusters. Demand for hearing 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;remains. I will post a full account with all 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;correspondence since 2002 asap. 
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