In a major relief to power distribution companies in the state, Urban Development and Housing Department has come forward to help them in recovery of their pending dues and payment of monthly bill from civic bodies.
The pending dues are stated to be several hundred crores of rupees.
Civic bodies use huge amount of higher tension electricity to transport water from rivers, ponds and tubewells and supply the same to houses. Besides, lot of power is consumed by street lights and trenching grounds were garbage is treated.
Hefty power bills are generated but 380 civic bodies in the state hardly make payments on regularly basis due to their poor financial conditions.
This situation led to making civic bodies the biggest defaulters of power dues in discoms’ record books.
Repeated reminders to civic bodies by discom fell on deaf ears even as bill amount kept on piling up. With no relief in sight, discoms approached government on the issue.
In order to bail out discoms, commissioner (urban development) Nikunj Srivastava has come up with an arrangement wherein discoms will send copy of power bills by 10th of every month to the department as well.
The system of reading and billing was prevalent in different groups as per different geographical areas.
Srivastava directed discoms to make a single group of 335 bodies for parity. Srivastava will monitor which civic body paid their bills and which did not.
“It is going to be easier for discoms to prepare power bills of civic bodies on a certain date and send copies of the same to Urban Development and Housing Department for perusal, " said Amit Tomar, MD, West Discom
IMC is biggest power consumer
There are 123 bodies in Indore and Ujjain revenue division area ie Malwa-Nimar region. Indore Municipal Corporation consumes electricity worth about Rs 20 crores per month. Power wroth about Rs 17 crores is consumed by Jalud pumping station. The civic body in Ratlam consumes electricity worth Rs 2 crores. The civic bodies in Ujjain consumes electricity worth Rs 4 crores.