Dawn Punjab Bureau / Chandigarh : The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) National Convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced 24-hour uninterrupted power supply and 300 units of free electricity per month to all domestic consumers in Punjab, on formation of the AAP government in 2022 Assembly elections. Kejriwal said that all the existing beneficiary categories which were getting 200 free units like SCs, BCs, BPL families, freedom fighters etc, will now get 300 free units, to be charged only for over and above 300 units. In this way, if any of these beneficiaries consume 350 units in a month, then he will be charged for only 50 overstepped units. The first 300 units will be totally free for the consumers. All other non-beneficiaries who do not receive any electricity benefits currently will get 300 units per month. If this category consumes more than 300 units per month, then they will have to pay for the whole consumption. For example, if the non-beneficiary category consumes 350 units per month, then they will have to pay for the 350 units. Kejriwal was accompanied by AAP state president and MP Bhagwant Mann, Punjab Affairs in-charge Jarnail Singh, co-incharge Raghav Chadha, Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Punjab Assembly, Harpal Singh Cheema, former IG and party leader Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh.
All existing electricity schemes to continue
Kejriwal was on a one-day visit to Chandigarh to make these big announcements for the people of Punjab as part of his first guarantee. Addressing a press conference held at the Chandigarh Press Club here, Arvind Kejriwal made certain announcements regarding electricity; stating that it was a guarantee of Kejriwal which will be fulfilled on the very first day of the AAP government; unlike tall promises of Captain Amarinder Singh, that were never fulfilled. As part of the promises, Kejriwal further announced that the disconnected electricity connections will be restored and all domestic power bill arrears or unpaid bills will also be waived off, after AAP comes to power in Punjab. He said that all existing electricity schemes will continue.
Kejriwal said that in Delhi, the AAP government was giving 200 units free electricity to each household and in Punjab, concession will be of 300 units. He said that since infrastructure upgradation will be required for 24-hour power supply, it would take some time for implementation. Kejriwal said that it would take about two to three years for this implementation as in Delhi too; it took two and half years to provide 24 hour power supply. “The electricity is a very big issue in Punjab and the situation is very bad. Despite being a power surplus state, the electricity tariffs in Punjab are the highest in India,” he said, adding that it is because there was a nexus between the private power plants and those in power; who from time to time had looted the people of Punjab.
Existing beneficiaries of 200 units per month free electricity to now get 300 units per month, to be charged only for over and above 300 units
The AAP’s national convener said that after giving 300 units free to people, about 80 percent households will get zero power bill. He said that the agriculture sector will continue to get free power. Responding to the media, Kejriwal said that today mafia rule was rampant in Punjab including sand, mining, drugs, liquor, transport and other mafias. He said that there was no shortage of revenue in Punjab but it was being siphoned off by the political leaders. He said that the Aam Aadmi Party was continuously demonstrating for cheap electricity in Punjab. “People in every district are anxious about electricity bills. Even bills worth thousands are being given to poor people having one fan and two bulbs. Earlier such was the situation in Delhi also, but now the situation has changed. We will do the same in Punjab. This is my guarantee,” he added.
It is Kejriwal’s guarantee, unlike Captain’s tall promises that were never fulfilled
Speaking on the debt in Punjab, Kejriwal said that the situation was similar in Delhi too, but it was made profitable. “We will implement such a model in Punjab also. A government with good intentions will be brought,” he added. Kejriwal said that the AAP government will give facilities to the poor people by eliminating the mafia and generating revenue in the state. Welcoming Arvind Kejriwal, AAP state president Bhagwant Mann said that the announcements made by Kejriwal regarding electricity for the people of Punjab would be fulfilled with guarantee and the state leadership would work diligently in this regard. He said that the biggest pain for the people of Punjab today was expensive electricity, for which the AAP had been raising its voice. He said that the people of Punjab would be provided a slew of facilities after formation of the AAP government in 2022. All the AAP MLAs, senior leaders and office-bearers were also present on the occasion.