Left parties to lead protest against true-up power charges

By Special Correspondent

The Left parties will spearhead a protracted struggle to bring pressure on the YSRCP government to scrap the hefty ‘true-up’ charges in electricity bills, CPI leader K. Ramakrishna has said, adding that the government mover would further burden the people who are already reeling under the impact of the economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The YSRCP came to power after categorically declaring that the power tariff would not be hiked. Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had no moral rights to ask the DISCOMs to collect hefty true-up charges to the tune of over ₹19,000 crore for the period between 2014-15 and 2018-19 from the consumers. The consumers would be charged on an average ₹3,000 to ₹5,000 each,” Mr. Ramakrishna told the media here on Wednesday.

Pointing out that the YSRCP government has hiked power tariff four times after it came to power, Mr. Ramakrishna said the Chief Minister had reneged on the poll promise.

“The CPI and other Left parties will continue protest till the true-up charges are withdrawn,” he said.

Apart from BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh was the only State which went ahead with fixing power meters for connections given to the farm sector and the move was aimed at phasing out subsidies being given to farmers, he said. “We will thwart the move with all our mite,” he said.

Mr. Ramakrishna alleged that Energy Minister Balineni Srinivasa Reddy and his other Cabinet colleagues were indulging in extravagant expenses at a time when the State was enduring a ‘severe financial crisis’.

“The government is yet to clear the dues of ₹1,00,000 crore to contractors. It is not in a position to bear the administrative expenses as it could not generate the needed revenue,” he said.

Krishna water row

Referring to the row over sharing of Krishna waters with Telangana, Mr. Ramakishna objected to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) issuing notices to Andhra Pradesh over a complaint from the upper riparian State against diversion of water to the Telugu Ganga and Veligonda projects.

“It is unfortunate that the KRMB is seeking the detailed project reports (DPR) now, even as the Telugu Ganga project has been catering to the irrigation and drinking water needs since years. The first phase of the Veligonda project has almost completed. The State government should impress upon the Centre to include the project in the gazette notificationthe project designed to provide Krishna water to fluoride-affected parts in Prakasam, SPSR Nellore and YSR Kadapa districts,” he said.

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