‘Mum­bra res­i­dents owe `300crore’

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - Naveeta Singh s_­naveeta@dnain­dia.net

IN­STANCES IN NUM­BERS In 2018-19, there have been 983 cases of­power theft, out of which 240 FIRS werelodged and there were five cases of man­han­dling of Msed­clof­fi­cials

MSEDCL While Mum­bra res­i­dents and lo­cal politi­cians pre­pare to protest against the ‘un­fair’ load shed­ding dumped upon them by MSEDCL, as per fig­ures the area owes around 45 per cent of the pend­ing dues to the power sup­plier. Tired of over 40 per cent of peo­ple not pay­ing up their elec­tric­ity bills, MSEDCL has de­cided to out­source bill col­lec­tion to a third party.

Ac­cord­ing to the TMC (Thane mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion) of­fi­cials, over 80 per cent of ten­e­ments in Mum­bra are il­le­gal. Of those re­sid­ing in Mum­bra only 60 per cent pay their elec­tric­ity bills hon­estly.

“We have over Rs 650 crores See­ing this hope­less sit­u­a­tion, MSEDCL has now de­cided to out­sour­ceits bill col­lec­tion in Mum­bra to a third party

We have over Rs 650 crores of dues from Bhandup Zone. Out of which Rs 300 crores is owned by Mum­bra res­i­dents Se­nior of­fi­cial,

of dues from Bhandup Zone. Out of which Rs 300 crores is owned by Mum­bra res­i­dents,” says a se­nior of­fi­cial from MSEDCL (Ma­ha­rash­tra state elec­tric­ity dis­tri­bu­tion com­pany lim­ited). Bhandup zone in­cludes ar­eas of - Mu­lund, Bhandup, Thane cir­cle -1, 2, 3, Wa­gle es­tate and Mum­brashil. These dues in­clude the amount owned by those whose me­ters were dis­con­nected.

While peo­ple want un­in­ter­rupted power sup­ply, the same ur­gency is miss­ing when it comes to the pay­ment of dues. “There have been cases of vi­o­lence against our of­fi­cials who were beaten up by res­i­dents when they went to col­lect the dues in Mum­bra,” says the of­fi­cial. In the fi­nan­cial year 2017-18, MSEDCL caught 2,360 power theft cases in Mum­bra, lodged 469 FIRS and reg­is­tered 11 cases of man­han­dling of their of­fi­cials. In the year 2018-19, there have been 983 cases of power theft, out of which 240 FIRS were lodged and there were five cases of man­han­dling of of­fi­cials.

See­ing this hope­less sit­u­a­tion, MSEDCL has now de­cided to out­source its bill col­lec­tion in Mum­bra to a third party. On Oc­to­ber 9 they have in­vited ten­ders for the same. Res­i­dents who pay their elec­tric­ity bills re­li­giously say rather than out­sourc­ing, MSECL should do the bill col­lec­tion. An­other res­i­dent Ab­dul Salaam Ma­lik says that the num­ber of Rs 300 crores as dues look rigged.

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