Bhubaneswar: The Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU) on Tuesday issued a final reminder to domestic and commercial consumers to deposit their pending bills by January 15, failing which the power distribution company will begin disconnections from January 16.
CESU senior general manager (Commercial) Manoj Singh said that power will be disconnected for commercial consumers who have not paid their bills deliberately. Besides, domestic consumers who have the capacity to deposit their pending bills but have not done so, will also face similar action. “However, CESU will consider the plea of any consumer if he/she has any complaint of excess bill charged,” he added.
Singh said for the disconnection of power, CESU has formed 413 squads in the nine districts i.e., Khurda, Nayagarh, Puri, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Angul, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and a part of Jajpur district.
Referring to the earlier notice on power disconnection in 11,397 villages, the CESU official said that there will be no power disconnection in an entire village except for those who have not deposited their bill.
Meanwhile, the opposition BJP and the Congress have criticised the CESU decision.
Terming the decision as unconstitutional, BJP state general secretary Lekhasri Samantsinghar said while the Odisha government has said that CESU is yet to pay Rs 7,656 crore to the state exchequer, then why is the power distribution company targeting domestic and commercial consumers instead of collecting the huge pending dues from the mega industries? “We demand that CESU should withdraw its decision immediately,” she added.
On his part, Congress leader Suresh Routray said let CESU collect the pending bills from defaulting industries and if necessary, arrest them rather than targeting villages. “While students are preparing for their annual examinations, the power disconnection will greatly hamper their studies. Under such circumstances, we will not allow it to happen and take appropriate action against CESU,” he said.