GUWAHATI, Oct 5 – Public activist Prof Deven Dutta has once again urged the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (AERC) not to effect and announce any revision in power tariff without first ensuring full realization of tariff from all the occupants of all government residential quarters within the Dispur capital complex and the IAS colony at Jawahar Nagar at the same rates with the general consumers and on the basis of readings of individual meters.
Prof Dutta, who had earlier submitted an objection petition against the claims of the Assam Power Generation Corporation, Assam Electricity Grid Corporation and Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd for hike in tariff and refuted the claims as also the written answers of the ASEB’s three supposed successors to his objection petition with facts, figures and arguments during a personal reasoning at the AERC’s public hearing on September 11, has, in a letter to the Chairman Naba Kumar Das, urged the Commission to exercise its full powers vested in all ERCs of the country by the Central Act of Regulatory Commissions and not to go for any revision without first ensuring full implementation of the Cabinet decision of March 2008 taken with the Chief Minister in the chair to realise tariff from all occupants of government quarters in the capital campus and Jawahar Nagar at the same rates with those paid by the common consumers.
Prof Dutta, who has been relentlessly alleging for years that in respect of enjoying a most immoral rebate and paying ridiculously low amount of tariff even while indulging in criminal misuse and wastage of power and passing on the burden to the ordinary consumers, political parties of all hues, as well as MLAs, ministers, high-ranking bureaucrats and also employees of grade III and grade IV, “are all brothers and sisters sailing in the same boat and part of a vicious circle of conspiracy to keep enjoying the most unjustified privilege,” marvelled how a decision of a Cabinet meeting chaired by the Chief Minister himself could remain dishonoured for six-and-a-half years and what the APDCL-employed brokers called franchisees have been doing so long.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Prof Dutta said that when he had directly and thrice asked the ASEB Chairman, who was present at the public hearing of the AERC, whether he could assure the Commission that there would be no more wastage of power at least at the Bijuli Bhawan, the response all the three times was a deafening silence. He said that during the last 11 years since the formation of the AERC in 2003, no political party has studied a single revenue and tariff proposal of the three power bodies, let alone filing objection petitions and participating at the public hearing.
Asserting that days of burning of effigies, funeral marches of the ASEB and immersion of its dead body are long over, he appealed to all political parties and public organisations to request the AERC to compel the government and the power bodies, particularly the APDCL, to immediately realise the arrear dues from various government offices and establishments and other defaulting consumers.
Making a serious allegation against the power bodies, Prof Dutta said that with a view to dissuading the common people from filing objection petitions, tariff revision petition of 107 (substantively only about 85) pages was printed only in English to the utter exclusion of the official language Assamese, and secondly, priced at Rs 300.