BHUBANESWAR: After CESU, two more power utilities – Nesco and Southco – have decided to launch a crackdown against their defaulting consumers.
Issuing an ultimatum, authorities of the power utilities on Friday urged the consumers to clear their arrears by February 15 to avoid disconnection of power supply. They will issue notices from Monday and start power disconnection drive from February 16 as a punitive measure to discourage deliberate default in payment of electricity bills.
While Nesco has arrears of over Rs 1,526 crore pending on both domestic and commercial consumers in five north-eastern districts, Southco has around Rs 1,357 crore in eight southern districts.
Nesco has a consumer base of 18.72 lakh in Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar districts and parts of Jajpur. Of which, 10.81 lakh consumers have not paid bills for a long time. Authorised Officer (AO) of Nesco Sabyasachi Padhi said highest Rs 954 crore is pending on 10 lakh domestic consumers, Rs 305 crore on industries, Rs 100 crore on Government agencies and Rs 95 crore on commercial consumers.
“As many as 2.54 lakh consumers have not paid a single rupee in the last two years though their arrears amounted to Rs 478 crore. We do not intend to trouble our consumers by snapping power which is why we have advised them to pay their dues,” he said.
Similarly, Southco has about 22 lakh consumers in Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Boudh, Rayagada, Koraput, Malkangiri and Nabarangapur districts. While 15.73 lakh consumers have arrears of Rs 1,357 crore,
domestic users constitute 79 per cent of the total pending bills.
Southco AO Pradip Kumar Sahoo said installment provisions have been made for payment of power dues. “Our objective is to supply quality power uninterruptedly. But, we are left with no option but to go for disconnection drive when consumers deliberately default in payment,” he added.
Meanwhile, CESU has collected Rs 61.4 crore and disconnected power supply to 18,370 consumers in the last 13 days.