Maha lifts stay on snapping of defaulters' power connection

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Mumbai, Mar 10 (PTI) The Maharashtra government on Wednesday lifted the stay on snapping of electricity connections for non-payment of dues.

The stay was announced by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on March 2 in the Assembly.

Making a statement in both houses of the state legislature on Wednesday, Power Minister Nitin Raut saidthat during the lockdown period from March to June 2020, electricity bills were issued on the basis of average consumption of the previous three months.

'Out of the 2.5 crore household consumers, 6.94 lakh complaints were received and 99 per cent complaints were resolved satisfactorily. Several concessions were given to consumers, including the two per cent concession to consumers who pay their bills after the lockdown period,' he said.

Similarly, consumers who could not pay their bills at one time were not levied penalty if they paid their dues in three instalments. Electricity connections of defaulters were not snapped till January 2021, he said.

Raut said till March 2020, the total arrears of Mahavitaran, the state government power distribution company were Rs 59,833 crore and by December 2020 it was Rs 71,506 crore.

Mahavitarans debt at the end of January 2021 was Rs 46,659 crore and it owes Rs 12,701 crore to the power generation company and the transmission company.

He blamed the previous BJP-led government for the poor financial condition of the power distribution company.

The company's profits were Rs 11,140 crore in March 2014, which came down to Rs 329 crore in March 2020.

Raut said that 44.67 lakh agriculture pump holders had arrears of Rs 45,750 crore till September 2020.

From February 1 this year, a drive was undertaken to create awareness among people to pay their dues.

'The response was good and from February 1 to March 7 2021, revenue of Rs 8,347 crore was generated,' he said.

At present, the central government is planning privatisation and delicensing of government power distribution companies, he said, adding that if Mahavitaran's arrears continue to mount, it will not be good for the company.

'I appeal to all to pay their dues regularly and save the company so that it is able to provide uninterrupted power supply. The stay on snapping of defaulters' connections is being lifted,' he said. PTI MR NP NP