Pay your electricity bills or you will see your name in newspapers on the list of defaulters. This is what the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has decided to do from January if they are unable to recover around Rs 35 crore from those who have failed to pay the electricity bills.
“I have asked my officers to publish the names of defaulters who have arrears of more than Rs 10 lakh, in newspapers from January, if such cases don’t reduce,” said OP Gupta, general manager, BEST.
There are nearly 22 such individuals, companies, hospitals, educational institutes and even government and security agencies who have defaulted more than Rs 10 lakh in electricity bills.
Even the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission has directed the power distributing firms to publish the names of the top 10 defaulters. Sources in the BEST said that they were supposed to publish the defaulters’ names six months back when the arrears had touched around Rs 60 crore.
The recent list of defaulters, as submitted in the BEST Committee meeting on Friday, include Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Subway Shopkeepers’ Association, GT Hospital, Jaslok Hospital, Grant Medical College, the office of additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch), the office of commissioner of police, the office of collector of Mumbai and Doordarshan Kendra.
Ravi Raja, the BEST Committee member who presented the list on Friday, said: “The BEST should first recover money from them rather than increasing tariffs. The administration charges 21% as interest from poor residential consumers if they delay in making payments, so will it charge the high-end defaulters too?”