SAMBALPUR: Residents under the banner of Paschimanchal Ekta Manch (PEM) on Monday demanded the district administration to initiate steps to make WESCO’s power disconnection drive, consumer friendly. The disconnection drive in the town will begin from Tuesday. Chief Coordinator of PEM Manas Bakshi said WESCO’s decision to launch the disconnection drive has caused panic among power consumers.
The manch is not opposing collection of outstanding electricity bills from consumers. “Collection of electricity bills is essential to strengthen the economy of the State. But only consumers cannot be held responsible for the outstanding dues. Bills of several consumers are pending due to the failure of WESCO officials to redress consumers’ grievances including those pertaining to faulty meters,” he said. Before the launch of the disconnection drive, WESCO should issue notices to consumers, who are yet to pay their dues. The manch also wants WESCO to hold camps at every locality of the city and redress the grievances at the earliest. Consumers willing to pay their outstanding dues in one go should be given discount, the Manch demanded. Besides, there should be provision for consumers, who have pending bills of more than `20,000, to pay their dues on instalment basis.
Sambalpur Sadar Sub Collector Aniruddha Padhan received the memorandum from the residents and assured them that he would refer it to the appropriate forum. WESCO has pending arrears of `2,117 crore from domestic and the commercial consumers.