The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) disconnected around two lakh electricity connections of its customers due to non-payment of the bill in Mumbai Metropolitan Area (MMR) in July 2021.
These include more than 28,000 electricity users of Thane, Mulund and Bhandup and 32,000 users of Navi Mumbai, 26,000 users of Kalyan and Dombivali, 31000 electricity users of Ulhasnagar, Ambernath, Badlapur, Titwala and Thane Rural and 52,000 users of Vasai, Nalasopara, Virar, Palghar and Dahanu.
“The MSEDCL is the largest electricity distribution company in Asia and one of the main aims of MSEDCL is to provide good and uninterrupted service to its customers.
But the sudden outbreak of the Corona epidemic has changed the economic picture of the world. This has also affected MSEDCL. Lakhs of customers of MSEDCL have not paid their Corona period electricity bills in MMR as well as in the other parts of the state,” said a senior officer of MSEDCL adding that as a compulsory action, MSEDCL has cut off the power supply to around two lakh customers of MMR comes under Kalyan and Bhandup zones due to arrears.
“The financial condition of MSEDCL is critical because of arrears of hundreds of crores, hence the head office has directed all the circles to recover the arrears of electricity bill as soon as possible,” said an officer of the Bhandup zone of MSEDCL. He said that the arrears of the Bhandup zone alone amounted to Rs 480 crore.
Similarly, the Kalyan zone’s arrears totalled Rs 470 crore. Of these, around Rs 700 crore was to be collected from the customers of both zones.
“The MSEDCL has to pay for electricity purchase, transmission, interest on bank loans as well as salaries of employees, and if customers will not pay their bills on time then it becomes tough for the MSEDCL to handle the situation. Hence a special drive for collection of dues is underway in the entire state,” said an officer of MSEDCL.
The official said that once the electricity connections are disconnected due to non-payment of the bill, the connection is restored only after dues are paid along with interest. If the dues are huge, then the part payment option is also available but it depends on the situation and the amount of arrears.
The arrears of high tension industrial customers in the Bhandup zone are Rs 40.61 crore. Similarly, arrears of domestic, commercial and industrial customers of low tension customers are Rs 235.7 crore. Apart from that arrears of the street light are Rs 185.08 crore. “If customers do not pay their outstanding electricity bills, it will be very difficult to meet daily expenses of the company,” said the official, adding that like TV, mobile recharge and other facilities, people must pay for the electricity used otherwise they should be ready for disconnection of electricity supply.