Chhattisgarh: Congress protests against hike in electricity rates

The Uncut

Raipur. The main opposition party in Chhattisgarh, Congress, on Monday staged protests across the state against the hike in electricity rates and alleged frequent power cuts. The Chhattisgarh State Electricity Regulatory Commission last month hiked electricity rates by an average of 8.35 per cent compared to the existing rates for all categories of consumers in the state. The new rates have come into effect from June 1.

Party officials said that former Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and other leaders, including the party’s state unit president Deepak Baij, took part in the protest at various places in the capital Raipur, while other party leaders joined in the block and district headquarters of the state. Congress leaders and workers also took out a foot march carrying lanterns at Rajiv Chowk in Raipur. Baghel targeted the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said that domestic consumers, farmers, industrialists or businessmen, all are bearing the brunt of increased electricity rates and power cuts.

He said that half of the coal used in thermal power plants in the country is supplied from Chhattisgarh. The state is supplying energy (coal for power plants) to the country but is itself facing disruptions in power supply.
The former chief minister alleged that the electricity rates in the state are higher than in neighbouring states. He claimed that the electricity rates have been increased by an average of eight per cent compared to the previous rates but the electricity bills have increased by one and a half times. Baij told reporters that during the previous Congress government in the state, cheap electricity was being provided to the people but soon after the BJP came to power, the electricity rates have increased and long power cuts have become common.

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