Encouraged by the response of the citizens, the government has now decided to extend the same subsidy for tenants.
The residents of Delhi were in for a shock (but not an electric one) when they received their electricity bills this month. So much so that Indian Twitter has been, ever since, bustling with tweets with the hashtag ‘BillDekhaKya’. But, what exactly was there to see?
The state government’s plan for subsidising electricity upto 200 units, which was pitched last month by the chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, seemed like an unrealistic dream that could never turn to reality. However, yesterday many residents of the national capital woke up to electricity bills, which amounted to dues as cheap as `0.
After declaring free metro and bus rides for women, when the CM announced free electricity with 100 per cent and 50 per cent subsidy slabs last month, Delhiites didn’t bat an eyelid. But with the impossible turning possible, the city is now abuzz with a lot of opinions and exclamation marks. Nusrat Jahan, a resident of East Delhi was pleasantly surprised to learn that she had to pay zero rupees for electricity this month. “I first thought the bill had some printing mistake or that there must have been some error in reading the meter and that next month I will have to pay extra to cover up for this. But, it was when I went down to show it to my neighbour that she told me that they have received a really cheap bill,” says Nusrat. That’s when Nusrat and her neighbour realised that there was a plan of subsidy put in place by the Government. Nusrat is a freelance makeup artist who lives alone.
Do the low bills necessarily mean that people have been using really less electricity? “I have an AC in my house and I use it too. Of course, I don’t like to waste electricity and my bills are never very high but this was something exceptional,” shares Nusrat.
While many residents have been praising the CM for this move, Jagdeep Rana, a city resident, however, expresses his concern saying, “Many Indians have the habit of misusing freebies. What if this encourages people to waste units?” Some city residents have also pointed out that cheap electricity might hurt the economy of the country.
Twitter has also been vocal about the move with people sharing photos of their subsidized bills, which show due amounts as low as `20, `6 and even `0. Others have been sharing screenshots of their bills on various digital payment platforms. Some memes comparing the situation of residents of UP (where the bills have come really high) to residents of Delhi have also surfaced.
Encouraged by the response of the citizens, the government has now decided to extend the same subsidy for tenants. Prepaid meters can be installed now for the same purpose.