No cash to pay power bills

No cash to pay power bills

Delay in paying the electricity bills is attracting fines, while defaulting payment would mean disconnecting the power supply.  In Adilabad district,...

Adilabad: People are worried about paying their power bills as the banks are disbursing only limited quantity of money and ATMs coughing up not more than Rs 2000 per day, which is hardly sufficient to meet the family expenses.

Delay in paying the electricity bills is attracting fines, while defaulting payment would mean disconnecting the power supply. In Adilabad district, there are 1.60 lakh domestic power consumers.

The power bill dues accumulated to over Rs 29 crore in the district. In Mancherial district, there are 1,55,197 power consumers and the bill dues accumulated to over Rs 12 crore.

In Nirmal district, 1,68,067 households owed RS 23 crore dues the government. Simiarly in Asifabad district, 1,25,835 house owners owed Rs 16 crore by way of power bill dues.

In all the districts put together, the total amount payable towards electricity bill dues shot up to Rs 127 crore.Talking to The Hans India here on Thursday, a consumer Lakshminarasaiah of Saraswati Nagar said that penalties were putting additional burden on the consumer.

He demanded moratorium on power bills as there is shortage of currency notes in the market.The farmers sold paddy, cotton and maize at the market yards, but the traders are not making cash payment but depositing the amount in their bank accounts.

Meanwhile, the energy department officials are serving notices on farmers asking them to pay their electricity bills to agriculture pumpsets. Because of the currency ban, payment of power bills to farm pump sets has been delayed.

In the four districts, there were a total of 1,03,974 pump sets and the total amount of power bill recoverable from the farmers is Rs 46 crore.

Disconnecting the power supply to pump sets for defaulting the power bill is posing problems to the farmers, are feeling pinched because of the shortage of currency notes.

A farmer Karunakar Reddy appealed to the officials to defer payment of power bills and see to it that measures to not disconnect power supply are initiated.

Small and medium industries are worst hit by the demonetisation. Though there is production, what is affected is the cash flow to them. They owed Rs 123 crore by way of power bill dues to government.

The officials have been conducting special drives on recovering power bills in mandals and mounting pressure on farmers and industrialists. First, they are serving notice, later, they are disconnecting power.

Cases are being registered against those who failed to repay the power bills even after disconnecting the power. They are appealing to the government to defer recovery of power bills for two months besides doing away with the fine for delay in payment of power bills.

-BYThotla Chinna Anjaiah

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