03 June 2013

Greenpeace at the Public Hearing in New Delhi © Greenpeace/Sudhanshu Malhotra

 

Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) was criticised recently when they did not have a public consultation on tariff hike revision. Today, Greenpeace attended the public hearing along with a number of other concerned citizens.

Power tariff and poor power supply have been a critical issue over the years and has been causing extreme inconvenience to the people in Delhi. There have been press reports on Delhi possessing surplus power, and poor distribution lines being the key factors in powercuts.

But is it really about distribution? How is the blame always shifted to someone else? There is a demand for a long term sustainable solution - renewable and clean energy like Solar.

Here is a short account of the public hearing:

When we reached there to raise our concerns before the commission, the atmosphere seemed tense. It was sad to see that a public hearing, which is supposed to be a democratic process witnessed such a massive presence of police and security personnel.

The session started and one after the other we saw people raising concerns and demanding answers from the commission. The commission was consistently accused of being biased towards the DISCOMs and sidelining the people. It has become a common practice for corporations and government to be hand in glove and putting profits before people. The entire argument of equity seems to have been missing. People constantly questioned the transparency and ethics of the commission. This shows that people have lost faith in any such set up.

Greenpeace India representatives also put forth their comments. The questions were raised on why the commission has not penalized the DISCOMs for not meeting their renewable targets and yet when the DISCOMs demanded a tariff hike the commission took their case sympathetically. The DISCOMs have been proposing a tariff hike at every given opportunity. The issue seems to have been politicized but no one seems to be talking about the permanent and sustainable solution.

There is not even an iota of doubt that fossil fuel will only become costlier in future and scarce too. If we do not reduce our dependence on fossil fuel we will be heading towards a dark future. It is now that we have to realize and act towards adopting renewable energy at a large scale. This is the only solution for our never ending power crisis. Hope we realize this before there is a permanent blackout.

 


Shashwat Raj is a Media Officer and Ruhie Kumar is part of the Digital Media Team at Greenpeace India.