Unaware of the consequences, people have been entering the containment zone at MGR Nagar in Arumbakkam to pay their electricity bills fearing that their power connection may be cut.
The Chennai Corporation has identified containment zones in 56 divisions. Inside the containment zones, movement is strictly prohibited with police posted at the entry points that are fully barricaded.
At MGR Nagar in Arumbakkam, a containment zone, people have been visiting the Tangedco collection office. A policeman took down the name and numbers of the consumers while others looked on.
Asked how could so many people enter the containment zone, one of them said they have been told to let the consumers go to pay power bills. The consumers, unaware of the risks of getting infected with COVID-19, keep going down the road to pay the power bills.
Except for a few electricity offices in Arumbakkam, Santhome and Lakshmipuram in Kolathur that are in the containment zones, a majority of the sub-stations and section offices are located outside, Tangedco officials said. Directions have already been given to shift collection offices in the containment zones to nearby sub-stations or section offices, they added.
Local officials have also been instructed to have limited staff and restricted timing to collect electricity bills from consumers in the section offices.
Asked about consumers visiting containment zones, officials said the domestic consumers need not visit the local offices for paying the electricity bills. They can pay either online or pay after the lockdown ends, an official said.
Police personnel at the entrance of the containment zone should prohibit people who want to pay the electricity bills by informing them that the the power connection will not be cut, Tangedco official said.
Asked about it, a senior police officer said the local police personnel manning the barricades at the containment zones will be informed to strictly stop people from entering the containment zones.