PANAJI: Power consumers who have been using temporary connections beyond the stipulated six months as well as users with arrears are in for a shock as the electricity department will disconnect over 1,000 temporary electricity connections and file cases to recover dues. The department will also act against government buildings using temporary connections on extended basis.
Power minister Nilesh Cabral said that supply to Mapusa police station was cut on Friday as it was a temporary connection and dues amounting to over Rs 19 lakh pending for over a year. Later it was restored, but not before the police gave an undertaking to the electricity department that they would complete the procedure at the earliest for a permanent connection. Since the inauguration of the new police station building in August 2016, it has a temporary electricity connection.
Power supply to the Panaji market will be disconnected next as the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) has not paid an electricity bill of over Rs 4 crore, Cabral told TOI.
Cases will be filed in revenue courts to recover the dues, the minister said.
No more avg power bills from Jan: Cabral
The department has found that builders and illegal structures generally take temporary connections and draw power even after the 6-month period ends, the minister said.
We will disconnect all such connections and if they want a temporary connection again, then they have to do all the formalities again to get a new connection,” he said.
Cabral said that an audit is being carried to find out how many government departments have outstanding power dues and accordingly action would be initiated.
The power minister said that no audit was conducted in the department since 2015.
Those who have meters inside their locked houses and meters that are non-functional, have been served notices, he said.
“We have given consumers time till December to show working meters and ensure they are visible to the readers, otherwise supply of those houses would be disconnected in January,” power minister said.
“I don’t want the department to issue average bills from January,” he said.
Cabral said that consumers can visit the electricity website and download the previous bills if the hard copy is not found. He said if a consumer has registered online with the department, then information about shutdowns will be provided through SMS on the registered cell phone number.