After intervention by minister, discom calls off disconnection drive
Following the recent instructions by state energy minister Shrikant Sharma, officials of Pashchimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (PVVNL) have decided to approach power defaulters, instead of disconnecting their lines for not clearing their outstanding dues for the past three months. Calling off the disconnection drive will benefit as many as 65,000 defaulting consumers, said the discom officials said.
PVVNL chief engineer Virendra Nath Singh said that the relief has been given to these consumers, taking cognisance of Covid-induced economic impact. “We have 3.25 lakh consumers in Gautam Budh Nagar district. The total outstanding dues of these consumers stand at ₹3.25 crore. We had earlier decided to carry out a massive disconnection drive in the district. But, ever since the minister gave the instructions, we have decided not to launch the disconnection drive anymore,” he said.
He added that these consumers have also been given the option of clearing the dues in instalments. “To avail the instalment scheme, the defaulting consumer will have to clear at least 60% of their outstanding dues in the first instalment,” he said.
When contacted, Uttar Pradesh energy minister Shrikant Sharma said that disconnection is never a solution to make debt-ridden companies self-reliant. “I’ve appealed to the public to clear their power dues in time. “If consumers clear their dues in time, not only will this help the debt-ridden discoms in overcoming their losses, but it will also ensure electricity at cheaper rates,” he said.
He added that after launching the initiative called, “No Disconnection, Knock the Door”, he has asked the power officials not to disconnect electricity connections of consumers, who have not cleared their outstanding dues for the last three months. “Not only that, I’ve also asked the power corporation officials, to ensure no tripping in the National Capital Region (NCR) by next summer. The PVVNL officials have also been instructed to provide correct bills to all the consumers on time,” the minister said.
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