[ecis2016.org] Ahead of the assembly polls, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced free electricity for households consuming up to 200 units and a 50% concession on those consuming 201 to 400 units
In a move few months ahead of the Delhi assembly polls, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, on August 1, 2019, announced free electricity for people consuming up to 200 units. Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said his government will give full subsidy to those consuming up to 200 units of electricity. The provision for 50% subsidy to people consuming 201 to 400 units, will continue, he said.
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“Those consuming up to 200 units of electricity in Delhi will not need to pay their power bills. There will be no electricity charges for them,” Kejriwal, who is also the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief, said. The government will have to spend Rs 1,800 crores to Rs 2,000 crores, on power subsidy annually, he said. “We hope that with this move, there will be huge encouragement for electricity savings in Delhi, due to no charges for 200 units of power. The electricity load has been increasing in Delhi. Recently, Delhi’s peak power load touched 7,400 MW, which was the highest. I feel that electricity load will reduce, due to this move,” Kejriwal said.
In summers those using up to 200 units of electricity is 35% of total consumers, while in the winter the number increases to 70% as the power usage is less, according to officials. Official figures show that in 2018-19, there were 26 lakh consumers using 200 units of electricity, while those consuming more than 201 to 400 units were 14 lakhs. A power department official said within 200 units, a household can run one TV (LCD or LED), one refrigerator (up to 200 litres), one washing machine, three fans, five LED bulbs, 1 geyser (for one hour everyday), for 30 days.
While Kejriwal termed the move as ‘historic’, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari dubbed it a ‘poll stunt’. “Today, electricity consumers are getting 24×7 electricity, at cheapest rates in the country. Discoms’ financial health has improved considerably and electricity infrastructure has been strengthened beyond imagination and people no longer need inverters and generators in Delhi,” Kejriwal said. Assembly polls in Delhi are due early in 2020. The AAP government’s decision also comes after the party’s drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls, where it was relegated to third position in five of the seven seats in the national capital.
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