A delegation of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on led by senior party leaders Harpal Singh Cheema (LoP) and Aman Arora (MLA) on Friday, met Governor of Punjab, VP Singh Badnore, on the issue of all-time high power tariff under the people of the state were allowed to reel under. This was a part of the ongoing ‘Bijli Andolan’ launched by Punjab unit of the party in the state on June 24.Addressing media persons after submitting the memorandum to governor, the AAP leaders, in a joint statement, said that the unprecedented hike in electricity tariff touching a new high had come as a shocker for the people of the state, leaving them groan under the power shock.Aman Arora, who is also coordinator of the ongoing ‘Bijli andolan’ said that electricity was costlier in Punjab when compared to what consumers in certain other states of the country were paying. The AAP leader, through the memorandum, urged the Governor to intervene and have the PPAs signed between the previous Badal government and private power plants, scrapped, enabling people to heave a sigh of relief.Arora said that Captain Amarinder Singh government should initiate steps to curb the recurring rise in the power tariff, thereby enabling the people to come out of the scare looming large on them by making electricity within the common man’s reach.Citing the Delhi model, Arora said that the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Government said that the dispensation had taken hard steps to tame the mighty power mafia during its four- year regime, providing cheaper electricity to consumer there even as it procures electricity from private power plants.
Arora said if the Delhi Government could provide cheaper electricity in the national capital, why was the Captain Government running away from replicating the model in the state by way of scrapping the PPAs signed between the then Badal government and three private power players.Arora said that the incumbent Congress government had made a host of promises to the people of the state, including providing affordable electricity before the Assembly elections in 2017, stating that the people had been feeling cheated as none of the promises, including the affordable power, had been fulfilled even as more than two years had rolled by since Captain held rein of the state, alleging that people continue to pay high electricity rate notwithstanding the fact that Punjab held a 'Power Surplus State' tag as it 30 per cent power was generated on its own.The AAP leader said that affordable electricity could be made available to the people provided the state government mulled over cancellation of the anti-state power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed between the previous Badal government and the private thermal plants in Punjab, leading to an unprecedented rise in the power tariff. Arora added that the agreements were set to cost the government Rs 2800 crores per year, ending up with a total loss of 70 thousand crores in the coming 25 years.Slamming both Chief Minister Capt. Amrinder Singh and Power Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, for being insensitive to the cause of the people, Arora said both were busy flexing their muscles at the cost of the people of the state, which, he said, had left them suffer in silence. Arora said that the governor had assured the delegation of taking up the issue with the state government for redressal. Others who were a part of the delegation included Kultar Singh Sandhwan, Rupinder Kaur Ruby, Meet Hayer, Kulwant Singh Pandori (All MLAs), political review committee Chief Harchand Singh Barsat, core committee member Kuldip Singh Dhaliwal and state media in charge Manjit Singh Sidhu.