Electricity supply to several areas in North Delhi remained suspended for the second day on Tuesday as the power distribution company TPDDL refused to supply power to the areas on grounds of non-payment of dues.
The company said despite its reasoning and the intervention of the State Government, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has not committed to pay what it owes the discom for supplying energy. Power Minister Haroon Yusuf also criticised the NDMC and said non-payment of dues reflected “irresponsible attitude” of the Corporation.
On Monday, TPDDL had to suspend power supply for streetlights in areas of Rohini, Keshavpuram, Civil Lines and Wazirpur because of long pending dues. “We have been raising the issue for long now, non-payment of dues is affecting our power purchases and we cannot buy electricity without being reimbursed. On March 8, at a meeting with the Delhi Chief Secretary, the Corporation showed willingness to settle the dues, but has not done so. After we were forced to suspend supply on Monday, we again sent them a message. Even at the meeting on Tuesday morning, the Commission showed no resolve to pay; we are therefore, being coerced into disconnecting power supply,” said an official of the TPDDL.
The official said the company is trying to minimise the impact of the power supply suspension by carrying out rotational load shedding. “We are aware of the inconvenience to the residents and are concerned about the security as well, which is why we are not suspending supply in far-flung areas of outer Delhi like Bawana and are limiting the duration of the power cut.”
According to TPDDL, the Corporation owes the discom Rs.45 crore in dues, of which Rs.35 crore are dues for street-lighting alone.
The Corporation for its part has claimed that the discom owes it money as well. “The discom owes around Rs.19 crore as property tax to the North Corporation. If the company can disrupt public utility services, we will attach their account if they do not clear their property tax due,” said North Delhi Municipal Corporation Standing Committee Chairman Yogendra Chandolia.
The civic body has also decided to charge rent from the power discom for using the civic body’s land for installation of transformers and sub-stations. “The power discoms have installed transformers in several parks and on other plots of the corporation. We have already passed a resolution in the Standing Committee to charge rent as the discoms are earning profits,” Mr. Chandolia said.
Delhi’s Power Minister Haroon Yusuf, however, censured the Corporation for its lapse, which, he said, caused immense inconvenience to residents as well as commuters.
He said adequate funds are available with the NDMC, which includes the revenue received as e-tax from the TPDDL. Coming to aid of the discom, the Minister said TPDDL has paid Rs.14.96 crore as e-tax and no outstanding dues are pending on their part. TPDDL has so far paid Rs.238.71 crore as e-tax to MCD/NDMC from September 2011 to February 2013, he said.
Mr. Yusuf went on to say that NDMC has not released the payment of Rs.44.01 crore, including an amount of Rs. 22.5 crore in the tariff difference from September 2011 to February 2013, in spite of intervention by the Chief Secretary.