Discoms playing flirt
The Government companies make/generate electricity. In Delhi, the distribution or supply of electricity (power) was privatized long back. Such companies are called Discoms (Distributing Companies) and they distribute electricity to consumers and charge tariff for that. Ambanis-owned company BSES is one such example operating in Delhi.
Right in the beginning of its coming, Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party raised the issue of high price of electricity in Delhi. For Assembly elections (held in December of 2013), AAP made it an electoral plank and promised that if voted to power, it would reduce the electricity prices by 50 %. One of the ways to reduce the prices, said AAP, would be to audit the Discoms because in AAP’s view, the latter were a den of corruption and crony-capitalism. So if that leakage is contained, it would automatically help reduce prices, argued AAP.
AAP came into power , Arvid Kejriwal became the Chief Minister of Delhi in December 2013. Kejriwal ordered auditing of Discoms in a matter of days after becoming Chief Minister. Unfortunately, AAP decided to quit the government on the moral issue of Jan Lokpal Bill after a mere 49 days duration.
The auditing of Discoms however continued but the latest reports show that the move is not taking us anywhere. As this news indicates, the Comptroller and auditor general (CAG) Mr Shashi Kant Sharma in a scathing attack on Discoms said that the companies were not cooperating with the CAG to hand over the data and information. He has written to LG Mr. Najeeb Jung (Delhi is under President’s Rule and LG runs the administration in such a situation) informing him that the 3 Discoms in Delhi were hampering the progress of auditing by not providing complete data and has requested the LG to intervene.
This is a sorry state of affairs. The Discoms are not above government, yet are less than willing to cooperate because of the nexus between politicians and corporate houses where they complement each others, often ignoring the interests of the public. In other words, crony-capitalism often benefits those sitting in the power-corridors and the private corporations. The LG must intervene at the earliest and direct the Discoms to fully cooperate with the powerful constitutional body of CAG. CAG must also exert pressure to bring the defaulting companies to the task. The people in Delhi deserve the quality supply of electricity at reduced prices.