Bhubaneswar: The Central Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha has said it will commence its power disconnection drive from Thursday in a phased manner as the company had a pending arrear of Rs 1,971 crore by end of November last year.
The power distribution company has identified consumers who did not make payments despite several notices in 11,397 villages to disconnect their power connections. “In the first phase, we will start terminating power supply to the commercial consumers and domestic ones who have withheld the payment deliberately despite having the capability to pay the bills,” CESU’s senior general manager Manoj Singh said.
As many as 413 squads have been formed to carry out the power disconnection exercise in nine coastal districts under the jurisdiction of CESU, he said. The company had a pending arrear of Rs 1,971 crore to be collected from more than 7 lakh consumers by November 2019, Singh said.
In December 2019, the CESU had announced the arrear collection-cum-disconnection drive from January 16, 2020. Meanwhile, opposition BJP and Congress opposed the CESU’s decision to go for a mass power disconnection drive.
“If the state government decides to disconnect electricity in more than 11,000 villages, how will students prepare themselves for upcoming examinations,” said Odisha BJP secretary Lekhashree Samantasinghar said here on Tuesday.
Congress MLA Suresh Routray also criticised the CESU for launching the drive ahead of examinations. “Students are busy with their preparations which should not be affected due to power disconnection. The CESU and the state government must take this issue into consideration,” he added.