New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused private companies of supplying electricity at expensive costs on Sunday. Kejriwal asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to let the Delhi government terminate previous power agreements.
“If this permission is given, then the electricity tariff in Delhi will further come down,” the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader said at the launch of a scheme to redress disputes over electricity bills.
Kejriwal also declared that power companies would be fined if they cut electricity for more than one hour. He urged the prime minister to allow the Delhi government to buy cheaper power, saying this was available, the AAP tweeted.
He said power tariff was high in the national capital as Delhi was buying more than half its electricity needs at Rs.5.50 a unit.
The chief minister said: “We have come to know that many power companies are ready to supply power at Rs.2.5 to Rs.3 a unit. When we can get electricity at this rate, why should we buy it for Rs.5 or Rs.5.50 a unit? When we examined the issue, we realized that the previous government had entered into agreements valid for 30 years.”
“The power companies now tell us that since these agreements are in place, you will have to buy power from us. The companies are pressurizing us. Why should people suffer?”
“We also appeal to the central government and Modi to allow us to cancel the costly agreements reached earlier with private companies.” he added.
Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal’s territory will not be used against New Delhi’s interests, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.
“Oli reiterated that they will be sensitive to our concerns and their territory will not be allowed to be used by anybody against India. Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiments,” Gokhale told the media.
Gokhale called Oli’s view “very significant”.
There was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint as Prime Minister between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.
There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning towards China than India.
Gokhale said that Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations “whether it be cross-border electricity or cross-border connectivity”.
“We are looking into cross-border electricity and cross-border connectivity not only with Nepal but other neighbouring countries as well,” he said.
After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.
Stating that India welcomed the restoration of democracy in Nepal, Gokhale said that both the government and the opposition in the Himalayan nation were parties to it.
He said both sides agreed to be committed towards the stated projects. “We will address this within a set timeline.”
According to Gokhale, Oli confirmed to Modi that Nepal will host the the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) summit this year.
Bimstec comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Gokhale also said that Modi’s visits to cultural sites in Nepal “suggested that there should be strong people-to-people ties”.
Apart from offering prayers at temples in Nepal, the Indian leader inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, a 900 MW hydropower project and announced Rs 100-crore aid to develop Janakpur city.