What price democracy?

Almost the whole of India is tottering in electricity crisis. There are reports of “power riots” in and around Delhi, the capital of india, according to Hindustan Times a leading newspaper from the capital:

People have had enough. Tired of long and frequent power cuts and false promises of improvement, people in the Capital and Gurgaon took to the streets attacking offices of power utilities on Tuesday.

After waiting eight hours without electricity early on Tuesday, residents of Mukherjee Nagar in north Delhi gathered in a mob outside the main zonal office of the power utility NDPL and stoned the facility. However, no one was injured.

They were back at the office later in the evening. The National Capital Region’s first power riots have taken place and there is not much the power utilities can do except file police cases or run away. In some cases, there is retaliation, too.

Just outside the city limits, patience snapped in Badshahpur, a Gurgaon village, after 15 hours without electricity. The villagers stormed the local electricity office, beat the staff on duty and damaged equipment in use

But that didn’t prevent the so-called netas (aka politicians) and figureheads flaunting extravagant ans ostentatious consumption of electricity.

Rediff reports:

The Rashtrapati Bhavan has consumed electricity worth more than Rs 16.5 crore in the past five years and the prime minister and his office has consumed power worth Rs 37.26 lakh in the past three years, information gained through the Right to Information Act has shown.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan has consumed a total of close to 3 crore units of electricity in five years. The prime minister has consumed 7 lakh units in the past three years.

Replying to a an RTI query by activist Chetan Kothari, the Central Public Works Department replied that all the bills have been paid by the department.

The department said there is no separate meter for the prime minister’s residence and the consumption is for both his home and office.

‘There is no separate meter for the residence of the prime minister. There is a common meter for the 3, Race Course Road complex comprising of the PM’s house, security gazette, security lights, SPG office, MI room, PMO, horticulture pumps, temporary lighting,’ the CPWD said.

That is democracy in full flow for you!

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