Congress stages protests over power tariff hike in Chhattisgarh

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Raipur, Jul 8 (PTI) The opposition Congress on Monday staged demonstrations across Chhattisgarh to protest the electricity tariff hike and alleged frequent power cuts in the state.

The Chhattisgarh State Electricity Regulatory Commission (CSERC) has hiked the power tariff by 8.35 per cent in all categories of consumers over the existing rate in the state.

The new tariffs were made effective from June 1.

Former chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and Congress's state unit chief Deepak Baij took part in the protests in Raipur.

Other party leaders staged agitations in the district headquarters and development blocks, a party functionary here said.

Congress leaders and workers marched holding lanterns at Rajiv Chowk here.

Hitting out at the ruling BJP, Baghel said domestic consumers, farmers, industrialists and businessmen were bearing the brunt of increased electricity tariffs and power cuts.

"Coal is being supplied to half of the country from Chhattisgarh. The state that supplies energy (coal for power plants) to the rest of the country is itself facing interruptions in power supply," he told reporters.

Baghel further claimed that the power tariff in Chhattisgarh was more than its neighbouring states.

Talking to reporters, Baij said the previous Congress government had provided power at cheaper rates, but the BJP hiked the tariff soon after it came to power. PTI TKP ARU