BHUBANESWAR: As the Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU) is determined to go ahead with its decision to disconnect power supply to defaulting consumers from January 16, the opposition BJP and Congress on Tuesday urged the State Government to direct the utility to rescind the order.
In a statement today, CESU said that, it will target defaulting commercial consumers in the first phase. High value domestic consumers who have the capacity to pay but are not paying wilfully despite having huge outstanding will be next target. Those who pay income tax but don;t pay power bill will be on its radar. In the third phase of disconnection, all other consumers will be covered.
However, the Opposition took strong objection to CESU for its measure and called it harsh. The BJP said when electricity bills amounting to hundreds of crores are pending against big companies, industrial and commercial establishments, the utility is targeting the domestic consumers. This will not be tolerated, said state BJP secretary Lekhashree Samantsinghar.
Information given to the Assembly by the State Government said four power distribution companies (discoms) owed a whopping Rs 7,657 crore to Grid Corporation of Odisha Limited (GRIDCO) towards arrear power bill.
"The utility claimed that energy bill amounting Rs 1,971 crore is pending against more than seven lakh consumers. Who allowed this to happen? We understand that collection of outstanding bill is necessary for smooth running of the utility. But the discom should first collect arrears from big companies and business establishments," she said.
Besides, consumers have complained of being issued inflated bills. Congress MLA Suresh Routray threatened to hit the streets and not allow CESU officials to enter villages if the decision to disconnect power was not revoked. "We will take to streets if CESU goes ahead with mass power disconnection drive. The utility should withdraw its decision forthwith as students have examinations ahead," said Routray.