Sunday, 1 September 2013

Power utility restores electricity supply after farmers' protest - Source The Times Of India

Maharashtra State Electricity Development Corporation Ltd (MSEDCL) officials on Saturday decided to restore the power supply to several houses belonging to the farmers in Aurangabad and Jalna.

The decision was taken after the farmers, whose household power connections were snapped on account of poor recovery of dues, expressed anger over the disconnection without prior intimation.

The farmers lodged their protest during a monthly joint meeting held by the MSEDCL, civic body and GTL- Urja, a power distribution franchisee of MSEDCL.  The MSEDCL had launched a drive last week to disconnect the power supply to farmers' households owing to non-recovery of dues.

However, the farmers alleged that the power utility authorities had not issued a 15-day notice as per the laws.  Prashant Bumb, independent MLA from Gangapur and Khultabad area, demanded the MSEDCL that the power supply be immediately restored, official notices should be issued and the 15-day window should be given to the consumers to pay their pending dues.

If the farmers don't fulfill the norms even then, the MSEDCL could resort to legal action, he said.  Shankar Shinde, chief engineer, MSEDCL, said that the recovery of dues was of utmost importance as the power company would find it difficult to purchase more electricity for ensuring uninterrupted supply. He urged the consumers to pay the bill on time. He, however, refused to comment on the warning notices to be issued to the consumers.

City MP Chandrakant Khaire directed the power utility company to restore the power supply and issues notices to the defaulters. Khaire said that the power utility company officials would chalk out a three-step plan wherein the farmers could repay their dues by November.

The farmers alleged that some the consumers, who were regularly paying the bills, too had to suffer as the authorities MSEDCL failed to identify such consumers. They also alleged that the electricity bills were charged more than the allotted segment.  Ambadas Danve, the Shiv Sena's district unit chief, said as per the norms, the power utility company is allowed to disconnect electric supply of only faulty consumers, but cannot snap supply to the transformer thereby causing inconvenience to the consumers who pay bills regularly.

The MSEDCL officials said all the actions had been taken as per the rules and norms laid under Electricity Act, 2003.

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