The Shiv Sena, which is leading a violent agitation against the power tariff hike in Mumbai, has likened public resentment on the issue to a 'time bomb' waiting to explode.
"After July 1, when people receive their bills, they would compare it with the previous bills and explode when they notice that they have been duped," senior Sena leader Subhash Desai told PTI in Mumbai on Thursday.
"When the Delhi chief minister can force the Electricity Regulatory Commission not to effect more than a 10 per cent hike, why can't our chief minister convince the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission?" Desai asked.
Alleging that it was a sellout of the government to Reliance Energy, Desai asked, "What else could be the reason for the inaction when consumers are bearing the brunt of the hike?"
Consumers in Mumbai and elsewhere in Maharashtra should not pay their electricity bills to protest the steep rise in the tariffs, he said.
As per the norm, power supply companies are allowed only a maximum 15 per cent profit but here a company has earned 35 per cent profit and no one is uttering a word, Desai said.
In Delhi, there are two power supply companies but the tariff rates are uniform while in Mumbai, all the four companies have separate tariff rates, Desai said. There has been a tariff hike only once in last seven years in Delhi but in Mumbai, the tariff has risen by 90 per cent in just three years, he said.
The state government should intervene with the MERC and put off the increase in rates, Desai said.
Till the power shortage situation, which has deteriorated over the last 10 years, improves, 12 per cent electricity tax and the 19 paise per unit tax charged now should not be levied, he said.
Outlining the 'pay no bill' agitation launched by the Sena, Desai said "If representatives of the companies come to disconnect your power connection, stop them by taking the help of Shiv Sainiks."