Notices to Govt. offices on power dues

CUDDAPAH Oct. 3. The Southern Power Distribution Company of A.P. (APSPDCL) has decided to serve show-cause notices on various Government offices, Cuddapah and Proddatur municipalities and panchayats to pay the current month's power bills and partly clear the arrears lest power supply should be disconnected.

Power supply to Cuddapah and Proddatur municipal offices has already been disconnected and notices are being served on them cautioning that power supply for water works and street lighting would be disconnected if they did not clear their arrears at least in instalments, the APSPDCL Superintending Engineer (Operations) of Cuddapah circle, Z. Balasubrahmanyam, told The Hindu on Thursday.

The cumulative arrears to be collected by APSPDCL in Cuddapah circle stood at Rs. 53.14 crores. The Cuddapah Municipality owed power tariff arrears of Rs. 4.87 crores while the Proddatur Municipality owed Rs. 1.18 crores, he said. The major defaulter was the Rural Electric Supply Cooperative Society (RESCO), Rayachoti, which owed arrears of Rs. 11.92 crores. Various Government departments had to pay dues of Rs. 96 lakhs. The major panchayats in the districts had outstanding arrears of Rs. 1.88 crores and minor panchayats were yet to pay Rs. 2.54 crores, the SE stated.

The District Collector, K. Chandramouli, and the Superintendent of Police, Abhilasha Bisht, have been urged to ensure payment of current month's power bills as well as part payment of arrears, to avoid disconnection of supply to Government offices, Mr. Balasubrahmanyam said. The major industries were paying their power bills by the month-end due to persuasion, he said.

Out of the demand of Rs. 10.06 crores to be paid by low-tension consumers for September, a revenue of Rs. 6.99 crores was collected, the SE said.

The 10.06-crore demand included Rs. 3.30 crores from agricultural services and Rs. 6.75 crores from other categories of consumers, he said. The revenue collected from agricultural consumers during September was Rs. 66 lakhs, i.e. about 20 per cent and from other consumers was Rs. 6.33 crores, which worked out to 90 per cent collection.

Mr. Balasubrahmnyam refuted the charge that coercive measures were being adopted against farmers and said the realisation of only 20 per cent of bills from agricultural consumers was ample proof that coercive tactics were not adopted.

He urged political leaders and farmers not to manhandle electricity staff or lock up sub-stations and electrical offices as it would demoralise the employees. He urged them to cooperate as the power position was precarious.

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