MP: 50,000 unaccounted power lines for agriculture unearthed
More than 50,000 agricultural electricity connections have been unearthed in the 15 districts of Indore and Ujjain division that do not exist on the records of the state-run discom in Madhya Pradesh.indore Updated: Nov 27, 2016 10:52 IST
More than 50,000 agricultural electricity connections have been unearthed in the 15 districts of Indore and Ujjain division that do not exist on the records of the state-run discom in Madhya Pradesh.
The Madhya Pradesh West Zone Electricity Distribution Co Ltd or west discom, in a recent survey has found the agricultural consumers drew electricity, but did not pay bills as the discom was clueless about the connections.
Money collected as bill payment from the “ghost” connections may have been pocketed by a section of linemen or other vested interests, discom officials suspect.
“We found these (50,000) connections during a survey carried out by our staff that included linemen, junior engineers among others,” said west discom chief managing director Akash Tripathi.
The unaccounted connections are expected to add revenue of `50 crore per year to west discom exchequer, he said.
Before the survey, west discom’s records show it had 12 lakh agricultural power consumers, including 10 lakh permanent and two lakh temporary connections.
Held for first time in the state to unearth unauthorised agricultural power connections, the three-month long survey was held on the basis of records obtained from the state land records department and land-survey numbers were tallied with agricultural electricity connections that existed on the ground.
A survey-wise list of agricultural lands was prepared, after which surveyors undertook physical verification to know whether they had power connections.
An additional 50,000 rural–domestic, non-agricultural– electricity connections have also been unearthed in the survey, which include new electricity connections, defaulters and those that did not exist in the west discom’s records.
Discom officials hope to find another 50,000 unrecorded rural and agricultural connections in second phase of survey to begin soon.
West discom that supplies electricity to Indore and Ujjain division sensed trouble in May-June when it looked into revenue statistics obtained from commissioner, land records, officials said.
As most agricultural connections are non-metered, west discom has no full information about how much electricity does each farmer draw every month to irrigate his farm.
Govt to pay IMC’s arrears worth Rs 200 cr
State government has agreed to pay Indore Municipal Corporation’s electricity bills worth Rs 200 crore that are its old arrears. This is roughly 50% of west discom’s total arrears that stand at Rs 400 crore.
The other arrears include non-paid power bills of closed textile mills and other sick industrial units of Indore and Ujjain division. Many of these industries’ cases are before Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction for disposal.