New Delhi, June 26 (IANS) Come July 1, the Delhiites will have to shell out more for their electricity bill as the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) Tuesday decided to increase the average power tariff for homes by 20.87 percent.
This is the fourth hike in domestic electricity rates kin gthe past 10 months since August 2011, when it was hiked by 21.77 percent.
"While the average power tariff (domestic) has been hiked by 20.87 percent, power will be dearer by 19.49 percent for commercial use," DERC chairman P.D. Sudhakar said here.
Angry Delhi residents protested against the hike and demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for allegedly protecting the interests of the discoms at the cost of consumers.
The rates were earlier hiked by five percent in February and again in May by up to two percent.
As per the new tariff, applicable from July 1, domestic consumers will have to pay Rs.5.17 a unit for the consumption slab in which each unit earlier cost Rs.4.16.
Commercial users will have to pay Rs.8.84 a unit instead of Rs.7.40 a unit. Each unit of power for industrial use will cost Rs.7.69 as against Rs.6.39.
Citing a financial crunch, the private distribution companies (discoms) had sought a hike in the tariff.
While North Delhi Power Ltd. sought an 18 percent hike in tariff, BSES Rajdhani, which supplies power to south and west areas, wanted a hike of 20 percent, and BSES Yamuna, serving the east Delhi areas, asked for a 27 percent increase in tariff.
Resident welfare associations (RWAs) opposed the fresh move by the DERC and demanded the resignation of the chief minister for allegedly protecting the interests of the discoms.
"We will protest on streets, stop paying power bills and burn effigies of Delhi chief minister and the discoms as it seems that she has become a mute spectator to residents' problems," said Anil Bajpai, president, RWA Federation (Delhi east), in a statement.
He alleged Dikshit was more interested in representing and protecting the interests of the discoms which were exploiting consumers.