Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal accused Himachal Pradesh Government of changing the names of the schemes fully funded and sponsored by the Centre to derive political mileage.

Former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, said that the Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DEPL) and Energy Efficient Smart Street Lighting Programme (EESSLP) were started by the Prime Minister and being implemented in the other states under the same name. However, the Himachal Pradesh Government has changed the name of the Energy Efficient Smart Street Lighting Programme as RISHTA to take the political benefit.

The Govt. of India is funding both the schemes from its own resources in all the states, Dhumal stated and further accused the State Government for misleading the people of the state by changing the names of the schemes.

Dhumal said that the Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DEPL) should be implemented on the pattern of the CFL distribution scheme launched by the BJP Govt. in 2008 in the state. He said that the LED bulbs should be distributed free of cost to all electricity consumers in the state. He said

“poor consumers will not be able to bear the cost of LED bulbs as the cost of the monthly installment will be more than their monthly electricity bills”

Dhumal pointed out that under the CFL distribution scheme, two CFLs of 15 Watt and two of 20 Watt were distributed free of cost, but under the LED scheme, all bulbs of 7 watt are being distributed which may not be sufficient for lighting big rooms in traditional houses.

He suggested that under LED scheme the two bulbs of 7 Watt and three bulbs of 9 Watt should be distributed on the pattern of other states.

Leader of Opposition appealed the state government to distribute LED bulbs manufactured by leading companies to maintain quality standards and criticised the State government for adopting the discriminatory approach in distribution of LED bulbs and development programmes in the State.

Prof. Dhumal further said that the State Electricity Board should take the responsibility for the distribution of LED bulbs like the CFL scheme in the state. This will reduce the cost of the bulbs by Rs. 30 which is the distribution cost of each bulb and every consumer should get the bulb for Rs. 70 in the state, if the State Govt. does not distribute free of cost. The State Govt. must interfere in this matter to benefit the poor electricity consumers in the state. The energy saving is the main responsibility of the State Electricity Board.