The Shiv Sena today asked consumers in Mumbai and elsewhere in Maharashtra not to pay electricity bills in protest against steep rise in tariffs.
In a statement, senior Sena leader Subhash Desai said the government should take up the matter with Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) and put off the increase in rates.
The distribution companies should be instructed to make bills according to the old rates, he added. Till the power shortage situation, which has deteriorated over last ten years, improves, 12 per cent electricity tax and the 19 paise per unit tax charged by the government should not be levied, Desai said.
As per Section 65 C of the Electricity Act, 2003, the state government should give grants to civic power utility BEST as well as to Maharashtra state distribution and generation companies, the Sena leader said.
Even Mumbai municipal corporation can give grants to BEST, which supplies power to Mumbai city, he said, adding citizens should not pay bills till demands are met.
"If representatives of the companies come to disconnect your power connection, stop them by taking help of Shiv Sainiks. Your disapproval of the costly electricity should be conveyed to the government in writing," Desai said.
The power department is buying costly electricity from other states and imposing additional taxes on consumers.