Cong ups the ante over steep power bills

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Congress workers burn an effigy of Power Minister Nilesh Cabral in protest against exorbitant electricity bills.

Panaji: The Congress party on Tuesday staged a protest outside the electricity department in Panaji against the ‘exorbitant’ power bills that are being allegedly issued to the consumers since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The protest was led by the Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat and Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar, who demanded concession on power bill charges.

“The bills are inflated with average amounts charged now are almost 10 to 50 times more than the charges of the previous months. The bills are being issued for more than 90 days consumption period,” the party leaders alleged in a memorandum submitted to the Chief Electrical Engineer.

The Congress stated that due to pandemic and economic slowdown, the people are going through an immense financial crisis due to the loss of their jobs or stoppage of business activities and in such conditions receiving such ‘hefty’ bills from the department is a great injustice to the common

man.

They demanded immediate withdrawal of exorbitant bills issued to the public with immediate effect.

The Congress said that the department must issue fresh bills waiving off two months consumption charges or announce a 50 per cent discount on the bills issued.

“The government should explore the third option of charging power consumption bills as per the February 2020 bill amount. We want to also suggest that the government can waive off all bills with consumption charges upto Rs 5,000 and for higher consumption charges above Rs 5,000 should be given 50 per cent off,” reads the memorandum. 

The party said that if the government fails to provide any relief within next 15 days, then they will intensify their agitation with the support of the people of Goa.