MeECL to disconnect power supply of defaulting consumers

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Shillong, Apr 6 (PTI) With the closure of the one-time settlement scheme for clearing outstanding electricity bills, the Meghalaya Electricity Corporation Ltd (MeECL) has decided to disconnect power supply of defaulting consumers, an official said on Tuesday.

The MeECL in November last year introduced a 'One Time Settlement scheme' to allow defaulters to settle their power bills with huge rebates. The scheme closed on March 31 this year.

The official said more than 3 lakh households, offices and companies have not paid their outstanding electricity bill of over Rs 465 crore to MeECL.

He said MeECL has decided to take stringent action against defaulters by cutting off power connections from April 16 in its bid to ramp up revenue collections.

'As of March 28 last, 3.11 lakh customers have not paid their power bills amounting to Rs 465.85 crore,' MeECL CMD A Kembhavi said.

He said these customers include individuals, companies, shops, offices and even government establishments.

The MeECL has published a list containing the list of defaulters. In Ri-Bhoi district many private industries have not cleared their power bills running into crores of rupees.

A mall in the state capital here has an outstanding power due of over Rs 55 lakh while a garment and utility store has an outstanding of over Rs 44 lakh, according to the list of defaulters.

A cinema hall complex has an outstanding bill of over Rs 12 lakh while a government hospital here has a pending power bill of nearly Rs 10 lakh, as per the list.

Kembhavi said MeECL shall affect rigorous electricity disconnection drive for defaulting consumers from April 16 and those permanently disconnected consumers who failed to settle their dues will be prosecuted under the relevant sections of the Electricity Act, 2003.

Earlier this year, the MeECL had availed a Rs 1,345 crore loan from the Centre under the Atmanirbhar loan to clear power dues to central power gencos.

According to the MeECL CMD, about 2,300 million units of power is consumed by the consumers in the state, of which only 1,700 million units were accounted for and the rest 600 million units are taken as losses due to power thefts and bad transmission.

The cost of one unit is Rs 5 and loss suffered every year is about Rs 300 crore and in the past 10 years, the MeECL has lost roughly Rs 3,000 crore,' Kembhavi said.

He said the MeECL has identified the key areas causing huge revenue losses and is taking action as part of reforms.

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