Bhubaneswar: A day after Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU) of Odisha announced its plan to launch power disconnection drive against defaulters from January 16, Congress on Friday asked the company to reconsider its decision and threatened indefinite agitation.
Senior Congress leader and MLA Suresh Routray told reporters here that CESU, which is yet to collect pending power bills amounting to crores of rupees from industrialists and commercial consumers, has decided to disconnect power from the houses of poor and domestic consumers.
“The lopsided decision of the CESU will not be tolerated at all. Any power disconnection drive will be opposed tooth and nail. It must refrain from implementing the decision,” he said. While government consumers have been given time till March end to clear their pending dues, domestic consumers have been given an ultimatum to pay their dues by January 15, Routray said.
With the annual matriculation and Plus II examinations round the corner, the students will face immense difficulties in pursuing their studies if power is disconnected, he said. Slamming the CECU move, BJP leader Prithviraj Harichandan said the “disconnection drive appears to be the outcome of a condition placed before a private player before it takes over CESU.”
The BJD leaders, on the other hand, have welcomed the decision of the CESU saying it has provided relaxation to the consumers to deposit their pending bills in instalments.
CESU had on Thursday gave an ultimatum to consumers to clear their pending bills by January 15 or face power disconnection. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CESU, Arun Bothra said of the around 7 lakh defaulters, 1.10 lakh have paid their pending bills amounting to Rs 21 crore while the remaining bills of Rs 1971 crore is yet to be received.