Free power for SCs, STs only in Chhatisgarh
By Our Staff Correspondent
RAIPUR, APRIL 25 The Chhatisgarh Government has decided to discontinue its scheme of free power supply to small farmers and poor domestic consumers. However, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe farmers will continue to get the concession.
A decision to this effect was taken at the Cabinet meeting held here last night. It was decided to set up a State Renewable Energy Development Agency which would work towards development and management of non-traditional energy sources in the State.
The Cabinet decision, which abolishes the benefit given to farmers using upto five horse power (HP) pump for irrigation, will affect over 44,000 farmers. The State Government will bear the electricity charges of the SC/ST farmers who will continue to get free power supply for irrigation purpose upto 5 HP per month.
The Government will increase free power supply to those domestic consumers who live in slums in six municipal towns from 10 units to 15 units per months. To prevent misuse of this benefit, the State Electricity Board will instal meters in all slums within six months. The Government will pay for consumption upto 15 units by the consumers of single point connection.
Meanwhile, Mr. Lokesh Kavaria, chairman of the slum cell of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has criticised the Government's decision and said it would encourage casteism. All poor people should get free electricity in a power surplus state, irrespective of their caste, he said.