PARADIP: The simmering bad blood between Paradip Municipality and CESU officials has spilled out in the open with the latter snapping power supply to the street lights in many areas over pending electricity dues.CESU has switched off electricity supply to street lights from Do Chhaki to PPL Chowk since the last few days as the municipal body is yet to clear dues of Rs 4.50 lakh. Sources said the power distribution company’s move comes after Paradip Municipality served notice on Executive Engineer of CESU to pay `1.65 crore towards interest on the amount it had deposited for installation of a new grid station.
In 2014, the municipality had deposited `6.41 crore with CESU, Bhubaneswar for installation of new grid station to supply electricity to Sandhkuda and other slums besides private consumers residing in town areas. Sandhkuda houses nearly 3,000 fishermen families with a population of 15,000. Power supply is yet to be supplied to the slum.
Till date, the Executive Engineer of CESU, Paradip has not yet completed the work. Even, utilisation certificate of the funds allotted has not been submitted by the discom. On November 1, Executive Officer of the municipality Dillip Kumar Mohanty issued notice to CESU for payment of Rs 1.65 crore interest at 4.5 per cent per annum from January 21, 2014 within 15 days failing which will warrant legal action.
Last month, an enforcement squad of CESU had detected power theft by Paradip Municipality for its Aahaar outlet. The discom had imposed a fine of `2.50 lakh leaving the municipality officials fuming.
CESU Executive Engineer Smrutiranjan Swain said, “We have received the notice from the municipality regarding payment of interest within 15 days. The municipality wants to take revenge after CESU imposed a fine of `2.50 lakh on it for power theft.” He claimed that installation of the power grid station has been affected due to water-logging and expansion of a railway line.
On the other hand, CESU’s action to snap power supply to street lights is causing major inconvenience to locals. Sources said residents are afraid to venture out after sundown fearing robbers, snatchers and anti-socials. In December last year, CESU had also taken a similar step over pending electricity bills amounting `12 lakh.