AAP, LG at loggerheads over solar policy

| | New Delhi
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AAP, LG at loggerheads over solar policy

Thursday, 29 February 2024 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

After one time settlement of Delhi Jal Board bills, the Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena and the Arvind Kejriwal government are at loggerheads over the solar policy announced by the latter a few days ago. The AAP alleged that Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena has suspended the solar policy of the Delhi government that was announced by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal last month. Sources in the office of Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena denied the charge and accused the Kejriwal government of being “habitual of lying” and spreading lies on the proposed solar policy.  “The policy lacks provisions to reduce electricity bills to zero; instead, it includes a provision that favours private power companies”, sources said.

Earlier, Delhi Power Minister Atishi on Wednesday alleged that Lt Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena is obstructing the AAP dispensation’s Solar Policy to ensure that it is not notified before the enforcement of the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls. “ To secure votes for the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Delhi LG is trying to put the people-centric policies of the Kejriwal Government on hold. Atishi raised the issue in the Delhi Assembly and also addressed a press conference on the issue.

“First, the Lt Governor sat on the file. I asked the LG office personally about the policy file. When the file came back with several objections, it went from one officer to another. There is only one objective: to stop the policy from getting notified before the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls kicks in,” Atishi said.

“Today, LG sir, despite sitting on a constitutional post, is batting from the BJP’s side,” she alleged during a press conference.  She urged the Lt Governor to not make efforts to delay the policy implementation. “It is an excellent policy and will lead to a reduction in pollution. Please do not make efforts to delay it,” she said. However, officials in the LG office said that he has sought clarity from the Kejriwal government over a provision in the policy that could benefit private players.

Officials in the LG office said the Delhi government’s claims on the solar policy being stalled are misleading because the LG has not stopped the policy. “As is their habit, the Delhi government is using lies to mislead the people. LG has not stalled the policy. The policy does not contain any provision which will lead to consumers getting zero power bills. On the contrary, there are provisions in the policy which will benefit private power companies. LG has sought details on these provisions,” LG office officials said.

The LG has also asked on the file whether the policy contains provisions to for synergy in alignment with the central government capital subsidies on solar energy production,” officials said.

Earlier, the Delhi Assembly also passed a censure motion over the Lt Governor’s alleged obstruction of the policy. AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sandeep Pathak also accused the BJP-led Centre of stalling the policy implementation.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal last month unveiled the Delhi Solar Policy 2024 and said domestic consumers will get zero amount electricity bills and the tariff for commercial and industrial consumers will be halved on the installation of rooftop solar panels.

According to the new policy, a residential consumer can also earn Rs 700-900 per month after installing rooftop solar panels as the government proposed to provide generation-based incentives (GBI).

“The new Solar Policy has the provision of providing a Rs 0.00 electricity bill to even those consumers who use above 400 units. The Kejriwal Government provides free electricity for up to 200 units and a 50% subsidy for consumption of 201-400 units. This was the first time that through the new Solar Policy, consumers using electricity above 400 units would have received Rs 0 bill. The people of Delhi welcomed the solar policy exuberantly. We started getting calls and queries from all parts of Delhi regarding the installation of solar panels,” the minister said

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