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While Kejriwal plans woman safety with ‘free rides’, Delhi streetlights may go dark as power bill remains unpaid

The non-payment of dues by the AAP government is severely hampering the regular maintenance of the streetlights which are crucial in preventing robberies, accidents and most importantly crimes against women.

Arvind Kejriwal’s futile attempt to play his populist stunts by declaring ‘free rides for women’ might not help him, as Delhiites may have to pay a heavier price for his unpreparedness. The private power distribution company, Tata Power-DDL has threatened the AAP government to stop electricity supply to 50,000 streetlights in unauthorised areas in north Delhi as the government agencies have not yet paid dues amounting to as much as Rs 7 crore for over a year now.

Tata Power-DDL, which supplies power to over seven million people in North Delhi, has stressed that it spends Rs 68 lakh each month on the maintenance of these street lights for which it has not yet been remunerated by the government agencies as per the signed contract.

Sanjay Banga, chief executive officer, Tata Power-DDL said, “Time and again, both the North Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) have denied the ownership of these streetlights, resulting in accumulation of huge arrears. The company has also written to the chief secretary of the Delhi government for intervention.”

The non-payment of dues by the AAP government is severely hampering the regular maintenance of the streetlights which are crucial in preventing robberies, accidents and most importantly crimes against women.

In July 2014, the company had threatened to blackout streets in north and northwest Delhi after the north corporation allegedly failed to pay it Rs 62.53 crores in electricity bills.

However, an official from the Tata Power-DDL maintained that as of now they did not want to point out the particular areas where streetlights might go off after dark, or when the company plans to initiate the action.

“We realise that this is an essential service and is crucial to prevent accidents, robberies and crimes against women. Hence, we do not wish to name areas. This is all the more reason that this issue must be resolved at the earliest,” he said.

Its time Delhi CM, Arvind Kejriwal realises that ‘free travelling’ might not contribute as much towards women safety as probably proper well-lit streets would. The women of Delhi would not mind paying for their travelling only if they felt secured walking through unobscured streets.

Moreover, if Tata Power-DDL goes ahead with their plans of withdrawing power supply it would become difficult for Arvind Kejriwal, who has a habit of lying from his teeth, to keep up to his false claims of Delhi being the only city in the country to enjoy uninterrupted 24×7 power supply.

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