Ever since Aam Aadmi Party had formed government in Delhi and reduced electricity and water charges many others parties are trying to emulate it. Opposition parties had criticised Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for taking decisions in haste but they too are following his footsteps. For instance, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan who is known for slow paced decision making has announced that the state government will soon make an announcement in connection with reduction of power tariff and toll tax will be reviewed within a week. Is Chavan taking quick decisions keeping in mind the Lok Sabha election? Is he worried about the growth of AAP which has been grabbing headlines for the work done by it?
Preeti Sharma Menon, Maharashtra AAP Secretary said, “The people of Maharashtra have to bear the brunt of rising electricity charges and toll charges. The has taken initiative to reduce the electricity charges and review toll charges keeping in mind the Lok Sabha election to woo voters.”
“The Congress is worried due to the emergence of AAP. Chavan who doesn’t take any decision in haste has suddenly become active after AAP came into limelight. Power firms were looting consumers by increasing tariffs which has benefitted the Congress hence they didn’t reduce the charges. If the Congress fails to reduce electricity tariffs then there is a possibility that the party might be routed out of power.”
Chavan said the government was seriously reviewing the toll tax in the state and the minister concerned has been asked to prepare a detailed report on it” added Preeti.
The government had appointed a sub-committee headed by Industries Minister Narayan Rane on November 19 which submitted its report recently. Accordingly, an announcement on giving further subsidy will be made on January 20”, Chavan said.
Accordingly, the MSRTC buses plying outside city limit will be exempted from the burden of toll tax. The entire issue is being re-examined in the wake of protests in certain parts of the state, he said.
Few days back Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam and Priya Dutt had held a demonstration at Reliance’s regional office in Kandivali to demand the reduction of power tariffs in the city. Nirupam had threatened to go on a hunger strike if the demands remained unresolved.
The demands include scrapping the fixed charge of Rs 100 per bill and regulatory asset charge of Rs 600 for consumption of over 500 units towards infrastructure, and replacement of defective electronic meters imported from China.
The demand to reduce power tariff in Maharashtra gained momentum after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) announced a 50 per cent cut in electricity tariffs in Delhi soon after forming the government in December.