National

Protests rock AP over power tariff hike

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on March 12, 2018

In dire straits: Farmers construct tanks in the fields to lift water from the borewell during the nights and water crops in the daytime in Peddabonala village of Sircilla mandal to overcome power crisis.

However, Chief Minister says hike will not impact the poor

The Andhra Pradesh Government is in for sharp criticism from the Opposition parties for drastically increasing the power tariff.

The issue also has caused serious fissures in the ruling party too. A few Congress leaders have come out openly to condemn the hike, saying it would burden the people.

The Left Parties have called for a State-wide bandh on April 9 in protest against the move. Several other political parties and students’ unions have announced their support to the bandh.

Three Bharatiya Janata Party legislators have launched a dharna in Hyderabad on Saturday evening.

The Friday order by the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission is estimated to put a burden of Rs 6,300 crore on the people as the tariff went up by an average of 15 per cent.

All the consumers who consume more than 50 units a month face increases, depending on their usage.

Union Minister of State for Tourism K. Chiranjeevi too has called the tariff hike unfair.

He wrote a letter to Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is in-charge of the Congress Party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, on Sunday evening, terming the decision unilateral.

“The Government should have discussed the move with party leaders before going ahead with the hike decision. I request you to convene the Coordination panel of the Pradesh Congress Committee to discuss the issue,” he said.

Senior Congress leader V. Hanumantha Rao too opposed the decision and said it would adversely impact the party prospects.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy assured that the tariff hike would not impact the poor. About half of the 2.25 lakh power consumers would not be impacted as the tariff for the 0-50 units slab (a month) was not increased.

“We will come out with a plan to provide some relief to the power consumers in the lower income group. We will announce the plan in the next few days,” he said, replying to the criticism.

>kurmanath.kanchi@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 31, 2013

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