Damania on Thursday, Feb 20 claimed that electricity tariffs in Maharashtra were the highest in India. Damania, the AAP convener in Maharashtra, also blamed the inefficiency and corruption in the state power ministry and generation and distribution companies for the situation.
During a press conference in Mumbai, Damania asked for an investigation into the mismanagement of the power and distribution companies.
AAP also blamed the inefficiency and corruption in the state power ministry
The AAP leader, a close aide of Arvind Kejriwal and Yogendra Yadav, was quoted as saying, "The average cost of supply had risen by a whopping 68 per cent in the past five years from Rs.3.7 in 2008 to Rs.6.23 in 2013."
Continuing her statement, Damania also added, "High-end households are paying Rs.10 to Rs.14 per unit while industrial users are paying Rs.8 to Rs.10. Thousands of medium and large-scale industries have decided to move to other states, depriving our state of revenue by way of taxes and employment opportunities."
Explaining the methodology behind what she alleged as "power scam", Damania said it was a perfect example of how bureaucrats and politicians can loot the exchequer through low utilisation of coal and coal imports.
She asked why Mahagenco did not lift the full coal allocation from Coal India in 2013 which was 41.97 metric tones.
"Mahagenco lifted only 30.05 metric tones though its needs were much higher. Bureaucrats opened a window for kickbacks by buying coal from other resources, and Coal India also benefits as they get to sell the coal not taken by Mahagenco in the open market at premium prices," Damania said.
"Nearly Rs.5,700 crore were lost in the last three years due to this," she said while adding that Mahagenco's proposed capital expenditure of Rs.1 lakh crore in the next eight years should be scrapped, and there should be no further capacity addition till there is a maximum utilisation of existing plants.
Damania also demanded that some 18 lakh un-metered connections should be brought under metering immediately and details of pending electricity bills of sugar factories and private engineering colleges be made public.
Here it can be recalled that AAP had raised alleged corruption in connection with electricity tariff in Delhi. They questioned Anil Ambani and Reliance's alleged role in the alleged scam.
(With agency inputs)