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Maharashtra lockdown: Discom staff not to go out, ‘average’ power bills to come

Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut asked power firms to generate bills using average reading rather than by verifying meters at premises in order to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Published: 23rd March 2020 02:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd March 2020 11:20 AM   |  A+A-

Quarantined passengers detained during Janta curfew in Mumbai on Sunday. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut asked power firms to generate bills using average reading rather than by verifying meters at premises in order to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The rules will stay in place from March 23 till further orders even as the Maharashtra government also decided to extend the curfew till the end of March.

Two persons have died of the infection in the state.

“From March 23 onwards, all energy bills will be generated on an average basis. No energy bills need to be printed but will be available on the website. Line or outsourcing staff should not disconnect any consumer’s supply for arrears. They should not visit any consumer premises for spot verification,” Raut told the media.

Meanwhile, health minister Rajesh Tope said the government have decided to extend the curfew till March 31.

“The borders of Maharashtra will be sealed and interstates public transport services will be closed down. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code have been imposed in the metro cities of Maharashtra,” Tope said.

The health minister urged the people not to venture out and assemble on the road in large numbers, saying it would defeat the purpose of fighting against the spread of the viral infection.  

Maharashtra gets three more COVID test labs

Maharashtra, which has been testing about 100 samples daily for coronavirus infection, will now be able to scale up this number up to 600 as ICMR approved testing at three more facilities, a minister said.

Two of these testing facilities are in Pune and one in Mumbai, medical education minister Amit Deshmukh said.

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