KRITI NATH JHA
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New Delhi, 6 January
Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Mr Najeeb Jung, today held that the Chief Minister, Mr Arvind Kejriwal, may cancel the licenses of power distribution companies if they do not cooperate CAG which is scrutinizing their accounts.
In his customary address to the Delhi Assembly, Mr Jung said he expected the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to fulfill all the promises it made to the people.
"In the polls, people have voted for a change and even the government is aware of the responsibility people have given it," said Mr Jung.
He said CAG audit of the private power distribution companies is being carried out to ascertain their financial position and the firms must cooperate with it.
"A CAG audit of electricity companies is being carried out since power distribution was privatised. Licences of those who do not cooperate in the process may be cancelled," said Mr Jung.
Power distribution in Delhi was privatised in 2002. Jung said he will not be a "silent bystander" on the issue and will not hesitate to take decisions.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government last week had ordered a CAG audit of the finances of the three power companies, BSES Yamuna Power Ltd, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd. The companies have strongly opposed the CAG scrutiny of their accounts.
The three power distribution companies have argued that the CAG cannot check the accounts of private companies. Their argument weakened today after the Delhi High Court ruled in a similar case that the CAG could examine private telecom companies, who have a revenue sharing agreement with the government.
Mr Kejriwal, who took office over a week ago, had promised to halve the price of power and accused the power distribution companies of overcharging consumers. In his pre-poll campaign, he had alleged that the previous Congress government colluded with the power companies to fleece Delhi residents.
Mr Jung said the government was also committed to checking the electricity meters as there have been complaints of fast running meters.
The L-G in his speech touched on the issue of women safety in the Capital and said, "A matter of deep concern is the security of women and girls. That 50 per cent of the population should be intimidated enough to avoid public spaces is a shame."
Mr Jung said, "Special security cells shall be set up to ensure that women and girls are not harassed. New courts shall be set up and new judges appointed so as to ensure that all cases involving harassment of women or girls are disposed of in three months."
He added, "Similarly, such number of courts shall be set up and judges appointed so that all other cases are disposed of in six months."
Setting up of Special Security Cells was promised by AAP during their campaign for the Assembly polls.
Security of women in the Capital has been under the spotlight since the infamous 16 December gang-rape incident of 2012 after which several remedial steps were taken by the police and the government.
In one such step, the Delhi Police had recently announced that chargesheets in rape cases will be filed within 20 days to ensure speedier justice to victims.
In his reaction to the L-G’s address, the Delhi Congress president, Mr Arvinder Singh Lovely, said, "It is for the government to decide on cancelling licences of power companies. It would have been better had the Lt Governor’s address been detailed."
Mr Lovely added, "I can’t say we (Congress) are satisfied with it. The AAP ministers are new and would learn. We have given support to the AAP and it must specify its agenda. We will ask for it in a few days."