Upto 200 units of electricity will be free in Delhi from today, Arvind Kejriwal announced today. Power consumed between 201 and 400 units will be at half price as the Delhi government will provide 50 per cent subsidy, he added.
“Today the cheapest electricity in the country is in Delhi,” the Chief Minister said, calling it a “historic decision” that would help the “aam aadmi (common man)”. Under the “Free Lifeline Electricity” scheme, those consuming 200 units of electricity each month will get no bill.
“Nobody says anything if the VIPs and big politicians get free power. Why deprive the common man? Am I wrong in taking this step,” Mr Kejriwal questioned.
According to him, the move will cover at least 33 per cent consumers in the capital, whose usage is less than 200 units in the summer. “During the winter, the power consumption of around 70 per cent people is below 200,”he said.
His deputy Manish Sisodia tweeted: “Just like good education and health care, a basic quantum of electricity to run lights/fans at home is essential for that.” He posted with the hashtag #PehleHalfAbMaaf.
The BJP called the announcement an election strategy. “This is not the decision of (Arvind) Kejriwal’s party. This is the result of the BJP’s struggle… We can see it by two angles that it is the strategy to attract people before the elections. They have looted 7,000 crore from Delhi people. When they will refund that?” Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said.
On Wednesday, said there has been no hike in electricity tariffs in the national capital for the last five years and that the city-state has the lowest power tariffs in the country and the only place with 24×7 electricity.