Bhayandar: After Reliance Energy disconnected power supply to the slums of Siddharth Colony, Chembur, on June 19, power was restored on Friday as CM Devendra Fadnavis intervened and the residents were assured that supply would be restored. After a federation of residents of Siddharth Colony met Fadnavis, the former promised to pay their arrears within three months.
Initially, Reliance Energy had discontinued supply to the locality since June 19, but had continued night-time supply on humanitarian grounds. Reliance Energy claims it was constrained to cut power supply to the locality from June 19, as repeated efforts over a decade, to convince the 3,250 customers to settle their long-pending dues had failed. Despite several notices, offers of payment through instalments and token disconnections, residents had not paid their bills, with arrears mounting to Rs 63 crore in over ten years. Such non-payment results in higher tariffs for other customers of the Discom, nearly 70 per cent of whom come from economically weaker sections, who are effectively cross-subsidising customers not paying their dues. The company officials said this forced them to disconnect power supply to this slum.