Delhi Congress will defy the protest ban outside CM residence on 16 August, said a party spokesperson on Friday.
The party will hold protest against commercialisation of power tariffs for tube-wells. Slamming the North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) and the Delhi Government, Congress alleged arbitrary hike of power tariffs at commercial rates and reducing the load capacity of tube-wells used by farmers for irrigation purposes from 20kv to 10kv.
DPCC spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee said that by charging the farmers commercial power tariff for upward of 10kw power consumption for tube-well operation for irrigation,the NDPL has wrecked the backs of the poor farmers, who were yet to be paid compensation of Rs.50,000 per acre announced by Delhi Chief Minister when they suffered crop damage due to hailstorm last year.
Quoting a notification issued by the NDPL dated 20 July, 2016 to the consumers regarding the "Change of rate category from Agriculture to NDLT (Non Domestic Low Tension)," Mukherjee said the farmers were no longer "Eligible to be considered under agriculture rate category".
She said this arbitrary revision in the load capacity of tube-wells without the knowledge of farmers and thereby bringing them under the ambit of commercial category, has inflicted a heavy financial burden on the farmers who use tube-wells for irrigating their agricultural fields.
"As your revised load is now above 10kw, ,you are no longer eligible to be considered under agriculture rate category in view of the above as per provision of DERC Tariff Schedule which sanctioned to bill such connections (any other category of consumers not specified/covered in tariff schedule of NDPL), we are changing your rate category to NDLT w.e.f on 1st July,2016," the NDPL communication to consumers stated.
Besides, quoting some specific cases based on the billing by the NDPL after revising the tariff at commercial rates for tube-well operation, Mukherjee said farmer, Ami Chand of Narela whose load capacity has been revised to 12 kw, got a bill for Rs.40,565.45 to be paid on 16 August, 2016, whereas he got a bill for Rs.1956.14 only in March, 2016 when his load capacity was 6kw.
"Arvind Kejriwal, who had made promises to the people before the Assembly elections, including free water and power at cheap rates,were now drilling holes into the pockets of the citizens," said DPCC spokesperson.