At a time when AAP leaders are globetrotting with large claims of having the best Electricity model, the smaller states which are doing it better but are a long distance away from the so-called national media, get very little recognition for their efforts. the Delhi government, the much-celebrated government by the ‘national media’ for having the best electricity model, does not feature even among the top 10 states and union territories with lowest electricity price per unit.
As of January 2020, the people from Union territories like Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Puducherry, Jammu & Kashmir and Chandigarh enjoy the lowest power tariff, ranging from 1.71 rupees per unit to 4.15 rupees per unit. Among the states, the people of Goa enjoy the lowest tariffs on power consumption followed by Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
However, over-enthusiastic AAP leaders are ready to debate with anyone and everyone on power tariffs without introspection of the tariff rate per unit in Delhi itself. AAP leader Raghav Chadha, a first time MLA of the party who does not hold any ministerial portfolio, challenged Goa Power Minister Nilesh Cabral to debate on the electricity model of Delhi and Goa.
“Mr. Cabral, I am reaching Goa tomorrow by 2 pm on your invitation, to have a public debate with you, on Delhi electricity model vs Goa electricity model. I haven’t yet heard from you about the place and time of the debate where I should come,” tweeted Chaddha.
On this, the Goa power minister responded that if he were to hold a debate, he would do it with the power minister of Delhi, not just any random party leader. “As per protocol, why should I debate with just some party leader? I can speak to their power minister. Or if any common citizen from Goa comes to me for answers, I can speak to them because I owe it to my citizens,” he said. “Nevertheless, if anyone from AAP wants to come from Delhi, let them come to my office like a regular visitor.”
Delhi’s electricity model is so inefficient that the state allocated 2,820 crore rupees in FY 21 budgetary allocation for power subsidy and still, the distribution companies of the state are under debt. Goa offered more subsidies to its citizens with an electricity subsidy bill of 2,934 crore rupees despite a lower consumer base.
However, the politicians from both states are not interested in addressing the issue of AT&T losses in electricity distribution and cross-subsidization. India has one of the lowest electricity generation costs in the world, thanks to the availability of coal, solar power, and wind power. As per a report by England based consultancy firm Wood Mckenzie, power generation from fossil fuel costs only 3.05 rupees per unit in India while 3.35 rupees per unit in China and 3.49 rupees per unit in Australia.
Also, power generation from solar power costs 2.62 rupees per unit in India compared to 3.62 rupees per unit in Australia and 4.2 rupees per unit in China. Wind power generation cost, too, is among the cheapest in the world at 3.36 rupees per unit.
However, the power tariff rates in various states of India range up to 10 rupees per unit for domestic as well as commercial consumers, thanks to inefficient distribution companies owned by the state government. The distribution companies purchase power at the average spot price of 3 rupees per unit and sell up to 10 rupees per unit.
Even in Delhi, the latest rates, as per Mercom India, are 3 rupees for usage up to 200 kWh, 4.5 rupees for 200-400 kWh, 6.5 rupees for 400-800 kWh, for 800-1,200 kWh, and 8 rupees for consumption over 1,200 kWh. So, instead of fighting over tariff rates and globetrotting without invitation, Raghav Chaddha’s party should work on efficient management of distribution companies.