Lockdown shock: Only 20% consumers pay power bills in Telangana
- TSSPDCL could collect only Rs 120 crore out of Rs 650 crore power bills from domestic consumers and 50 per cent of Rs 1,100 crore revenue target from industrial sector for March Even people living in many rich colonies in Hyderabad are also on the list of non payees
- Consumers site non availability of technology in their phones and pay cut by employers as reasons for non-payment of electricity bills
Hyderabad: Telangana DISCOMS received a big shock as nearly 80 per cent electricity consumers did not turn up to pay the power bills in the lock down period. Those 20 per cent consumers opted to pay bills online only as the distribution companies closed bill payment counters following the enforcement of lockdown in the State.
Consumers living in rich colonies like Banajara hills, Jubilee Hills and Kukatpally, Cyberabad zone and those residing in posh gated community also did not pay power bills for March. In view of total lockdown, the Discoms stopped house to house meter reading and billing and asked the electricity consumers to pay the power bills equal to March last year paid by the domestic consumers in April this year. The consumers were asked to pay bills online and digitally.
In all, the two Discoms - TSSPDCL and TSNPDCL collect between Rs 2,100 crore to Rs Rs 2,400 crore as power tariff from all consumers including domestic, commercial and industrial sectors. The TSDPDCL which covers entire GHMC and IT hub Cyberabad alone earns Rs 1,800 crore per month.
The officials said that the TSSPDCL could collect only Rs 120 crore out of Rs 650 crore power bills from domestic consumers and 50 per cent of Rs 1,100 crore revenue target from industrial sector was only realised. The power demand for domestic sector remained same during the lockdown period but only 20 per cent of the consumers turned up to pay the power bills. Shockingly, people living in many rich colonies in Hyderabad were also on the list of non payees of the powers bills.
Officials also said that a decision on the issuance of power bills for April month in May will be taken after reviewing the tariff collections in the last week of month. Since the government extended the lockdown till May 7, officials said that a decision on meter reading and manual billing will also be taken in the meeting and the government will to seek State Electricity Regulatory Commission permission in this regard.
Meanwhile, majority of the consumers said that they could not pay the bills online as they did not possess advanced technology in their mobile phones. Some of them said that they did not get full pay as the employers implemented pay cut and their expenditure capacity gone down suddenly was the main reason for not paying the power bills.