Nirupam begins indefinite hunger strike for Mumbai power tariff reduction

Mumbai, Jan.23: Congress Member of Parliament (MP) Sanjay Nirupam on Thursday began an indefinite hunger strike over a demand for a reduction in power tariff in Mumbai.

Nirupam and his followers are holding a protest outside the office of the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Energy, stating that Reliance Energy is accountable to the people of the city who are reeling under the high power tariff.

“Reliance supplies electricity to a majority of people here. Today, if people in Mumbai are suffering due to the power tariff, Reliance is also answerable for that. That is why, we are protesting outside the Reliance office,” he told media here today.

‘We asked Reliance to take back a few surcharges included in the electricity bill because it is absolutely useless. We told them this was a justified demand, and if they agree, then we will not protest. This protest will continue till Anil Ambani removes the three types of surcharges from the bill,” he added.

Recalling his letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for demanding a reduction in power tariff, Nirupam said the state government had agreed to look into the matter in its next cabinet session.

“I wrote to the chief minister, asking him to reduce the power tariff, like it happened in Delhi. He assured me that a positive step towards this will be taken. A decision was taken in the cabinet, and I was told that next week they will take a decision for Mumbai, which means that the Maharashtra Government would give 15 to 20 percent subsidy,” he said.

He demanded that Reliance Power should remove the three surcharges and share the subsidy burden with the Maharashtra Government so as to give relief to the people of Mumbai.

“But why should the Maharashtra Government alone take the burden of compensating the loss incurred after the subsidy. We wanted Reliance to share the burden with the Maharashtra Government,” he added.

Earlier on Monday, the Maharashtra Government announced a 20 percent cut in power tariff for the industrial and agriculture classes of consumers.

However, this decision excluded Mumbai consumers who mostly get power supply from Reliance Infrastructure among others. (ANI)