MSEDCL cuts power to 800 Pune ZP schools over non-payment of bills
PUNE As per the information released by Pune Zilla Parishad’s chief executive officer (CEO) Ayush Prasad on Tuesday, electricity supply to 800 schools has been disconnected by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) over non-payments of the bills.
There are a total 3,639 schools operated by the Zilla Parishad in the district and 800 of them are now in the dark over pending electricity bills.
MSEDCL officials said that apart from non-payment of bills there is no reason to disconnect electricity supply of schools and Zilla Parishad Pune should pay the pending dues.
“The total pending bill amount is Rs2.28 core. After every vacation we take stock about the status of electricity supply in the schools. This information came forth after that,” said Prasad.
“We have asked the local authorities to assist in the payment of bills from their funds. We have assured MSEDCL that the bills would be paid. In 639 schools quarantine centres were operated. So there is an issue whether these electricity bills should be paid by the school or through the state disaster relief fund,” said Prasad.
MSEDCL officials said that supply would be restored once bills are paid. “MSEDCL is already in a fragile state as electricity bills worth Rs72,000 crore are pending from consumers of various categories. ZP conducted a meeting on November 11 and this issue of schools was highlighted. Connection of any consumer who fails to pay bills on time is cut after issuing a notice. There is no other reason for disconnecting the supply. ZP should pay the bills. It can be paid in installments as well,” said Rajendra Pawar, superintending engineer, Pune rural circle MSEDCL.
The Zilla Parishad administration claimed that it has taken steps to resolve this problem. “In the last two days many school administrators have started the process of payments. We have asked local authorities such as gram panchayats to assist from their funds. It would be the responsibility of MSEDCL to resume electricity supply immediately, once the bills are paid. I assured MSEDCL that the bills would be paid, but electricity supply should be resumed for the sake of the students,” said Prasad.