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Power-starved Delhi gets help

November 30, 2004 15:29 IST

Nongovernmental organisations and consumer activists on Tuesday came together to launch an initiative to "democratise" the power sector in Delhi to ensure reliable, efficient and environment friendly electricity supply.

"The Peoples Power campaign will seek to propagate transparency and accountability through effective participation of all stakeholders in decision-making practices in power sector," said Ravi Singh, secretary-general of World Wide Fund for Nature-India, which launched the programme.

He said its endeavour would be to build a network of environmental NGOs, consumer groups and technical experts, which would encourage the public to take greater interest in power distribution.

Energy expert Girish Sant of the Pune-based Prayas, known for its work on the Dabhol power project, said, "Energy efficiency is often neglected because of lack of demand from people."

Charging power distribution companies in Delhi of "only toying" with the idea of energy efficiency, he said concrete steps in this direction would reduce not only blackouts but also electricity bills.

"Consumers should not have to take on the burden of inefficiency and profligacy of the utility companies. Democratisation of the power sector is the need of the hour," said consumer rights activist Pushpa Girimaji.

Samrat Sengupta of WWF-India said the campaign in Delhi would involve the Ministry of Power, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission and the distribution companies.

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