Cracking down on AAP workers protesting against the Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government, the Chandigarh police on Friday, have resorted to using water cannons on the protestors. The workers who are protesting against the hike in power tariff have been sloganeering against the Chief Minister outside his residence in Chandigarh. Visuals see protestors attempting to climb over the barricade and police are seen using lathis and water cannons to subdue their protests.
Visuals show AAP MP Bhagwat Mann leading the protests, sitting on the barricade. He is seen trying to calm down the protestors saying, "We will keep sitting on a dharna". The Akali Dal too has slammed the Congress government for the hike in power tariff planned to recover losses, pointing out the coal scam of the existing government.
Cong govt is breaking Punjabis' backs to fill its coffers. People in Bathinda villages are getting whopping Rs 2.5L power bills. @capt_amarinder you can't cover losses caused by your govt’s Rs 4,100cr #CoalScam at people's cost. SAD will protect every Punjabi you're trying to rob pic.twitter.com/VvBJkv8KAJ— Harsimrat Kaur Badal (@HarsimratBadal_) January 10, 2020
Reports state that the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) had filed a petition with the state's power regulatory board for a 14% increase in tariff in the next fiscal year. The government-run power body has stated the move was to balance their revenue and expenditure as they had recently paid Rs 1490 crores to private power companies in coal washing charges. Moreover, the state's regulatory commission Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has reportedly declared that the state would need to generate Rs 37,250 crores in FY 21. The proposed hike of 14% is allegedly supposed to generate Rs 4545 crores to buffer its losses.
Previously in April, the government had already hiked 30 paise/unit in the power tariffs to offset losses. This power hike comes amid the AAP government in Delhi announcing that households consuming 200 units or less power will not be charged. Apart from electricity, water, the Kejriwal government has announced free wifi services, free metro and bus rides for women and free pilgrimage for senior citizens ahead of the state polls on February 8, 2020.