VIJAYAWADA: Hard-pressed for money, the state Energy Department, which has lost all hope of getting Rs 4,000 crore in arrears from the sibling state of Telangana, has turned its attention to departments of the AP government which are yet to pay a combined electricity bill of Rs 2,000 crore.
According to officials, the Energy Department is trying to recover dues from four departments. When contacted, Energy, Infrastructure and Investments principal secretary Ajay Jain said the Panchayat Raj Department alone should clear electricity bills to the tune of Rs 1,200 crore; Water Resources Department, Rs 600 crore; Industries Department, Rs 272 crore; and the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department, Rs 120 crore.
Officials say the cumulative amount for several years led to such huge pending figures in the case of Panchayat Raj, Industries and Municipal Administration and Urban Development departments. However, the Irrigation Department has amassed the Rs 600-crore bill in just a year, thanks to projects such as the one in Pattiseema.
CS directs department heads to clear bills by Oct 15
Taking stock of the arrears, chief secretary Dinesh Kumar directed all government departments to clear bills by October 15.During a meeting with officials of the departments at his chambers in the Interim Government Complex in Velagapudi on Monday, the chief secretary also suggested that the Panchayat Raj Department clear the bill using NABARD funds.
On the occasion, Dinesh Kumar also instructed officials to search for alternatives to reduce electricity bills. Setting up solar pump sets and waste-to-energy plants will yield results for reducing the electricity bills, he said.
Chief secretary Dinesh Kumar sets deadline for paying bills
L1,200 crore Panchayat Raj department
L600 crore Water Resources departments due
L272 crore Industries department
L120 crore Municipal Administration and Urban Development department dues