Pune: Power bills worth Rs 1,771 cr pending, MSEDCL warns of criminal cases against consumers who resort to violence

THE MAHARASHTRA State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) has warned it will slap criminal cases if there are attacks on its employees or any ruckus during the ongoing drive to recover long pending power bills running into a whopping sum of Rs 1,771 crore in Pune region alone.

The MSEDCL has currently undertaken a drive to recover unpaid power bills from domestic, commercial and industrial consumers. The agency has also started disconnecting power supply to consumers who have not paid their bills for several months. The agency has said in the five districts under Pune region — Pune, Solapur, Kolhapur, Satara and Sangli — there are 13.86 lakh consumers who have not paid a single bill from April 2020 to January 2021, and that in spite of this, their supply was not discontinued.

According to a press statement issued by MSEDCL, “Because of severe financial crunch, there was no option but to begin the recovery of unpaid bills and cut the connections. Citizens must note that criminal cases will be slapped against those who resort to attack, verbal abuse or cause ruckus or vandalism at the offices of the MSEDCL.”

“Because of non-payment of large sums by consumers, the MSEDCL is in severe financial crunch. In the five districts under Pune region — Pune, Solapur, Kolhapur, Satara and Sangli — there are 27.11 lakh consumers who owe a total of Rs 1,771 crore. There are 13.86 lakh consumers who have not paid a single bill during the period from April 2020 to January 2021. In spite of this, no connections were cut till January 31.

But from February, the MSEDCL had to start taking harsh steps. We have made sure that every bill payment office has facilities to address bill-related complaints,” further read the statement.

The press note also lists out various sections of the Indian Penal Code under which offences can be registered against consumers if they resort to any kind of violence.

Provisions include sections pertaining to use of criminal force against public servant, physical assault, unlawful assembly, criminal intimidation, damage public property and vandalism in government offices.

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