Youth Congress activists protest in Mizoram over 20% increase in electricity tariffs

Youth Congress activists protested in Aizawl against the sharp increase in electricity tariffs, demanding the resignation of the state’s energy minister, R Lalzirliana.

Leading the protest outside Vanapa Hall here on Tuesday, the president of the state Youth Congress, Lalmalsawma Nghaka, accused the government of robbing the population by raising electricity tariffs and issuing bogus bills electricity.

“The Minister of Energy should take responsibility for the rise and the fake bills and must force himself to resign from his post for not having effectively managed his department,” he said.

He said the government had increased electricity tariffs by 20.7%, which went into effect in April, at a time when people face hardship and a livelihood crisis due to the pandemic.

Lalmalsawma claimed that electricity bills issued in August were mostly high and some poor families, who consumed very less units, were asked to pay consumption charges ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh.

The government should remove all bogus bills and reissue the correct bills to consumers, he said.

The state’s chief electrical engineer, Lalduhzuala Sailo, has denied any disruption to electricity bills.

“Although the meter reading was not taken due to the lockout, invoices were prepared and consumption charges were calculated taking into account the average net value of unpaid months based on the net amount of the previous invoice, ”he told PTI.

The invoice amounts were high as they covered three months – from April to June, he said.

Sailo said the electricity tariff is decided by the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for the states of Mizoram and Manipur, which, as a proceeding, is holding a public hearing before a hike.

However, only representatives of a political party were present at the last hearing, which unanimously accepted a 20.7% increase as of April 1, he said.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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