In a major drive against defaulters, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited on Monday disconnected the power supply to several government offices in the city after they failed to pay bills to the tune of lakhs of rupees.
The connections to some of them were restored after the consumers either paid up or assured to pay the outstanding amount.
Among the establishments that faced the wrath of MSEDCL were two staff quarters in the premises of 'Ramgiri,' the official residence of the Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh in Nagpur, the office of the Commissioner of Police, the Tehsil office and one office of the state Public Works Department (PWD), sources said.
Other establishments likely to face action are the District Collector's office, Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Punjabrao Krishi Vidyapeeth and the City Police Control Room, the sources said.
These establishments together owe MSEDCL a whopping Rs 45 lakh (Rs 4.5 million) by way power bill arrears for periods ranging from one year to three years.
Officials heading some of the establishments have been trying to evade payment, saying the arrears were related to the period when they were not in charge.
With all other avenues of recovery having been exhausted, MSEDCL served final notices on these establishments warning them of disconnection. The distribution company began taking action on Monday, sending the entire government machinery here into a tizzy. There was confusion about the establishments targeted as no senior official of the company was available for comment.
The Guardian Minister for Nagpur District Satish Chaturvedi summoned senior officials of MSEDCL after a section of the media reported that electricity supply to 'Ramgiri' itself had been disconnected.
MSEDCL later clarified that supply to the chief minister's residence had not been disconnected. The connection to 'Ramgiri' was not on the list of major defaulters and there have never been any arrears against it, the company said in a press release issued here late on Monday evening.
In fact, power supply to two staff residential quarters in the premises of 'Ramgiri' was disconnected for overdue payment, the company said. The supply was restored after chief engineer, Public Works Department, who maintains the quarters, assured that the amount would be paid by Tuesday, the press release said.
The company said that it carried out a drive on Monday against 30 major defaulters in the Civil Lines sub-division of Nagpur city whose names had been published in newspapers last month.
The defaulters included ten each in the residential, commercial and low-tension industrial categories, the company said. The defaulters whose supply was disconnected included some government offices, the press release said, but did not name these establishments.
MSEDCL said that supply to some consumers was restored after receiving either payments in cash or written assurances of early payment.
Meanwhile, sources said that the amounts due from some of the government establishments in Nagpur are as follows:
'Ramgiri' staff quarters -- Rs 1.20 lakh (Rs 120,000), Tehsildar office -- Rs 4.0 lakh (Rs 400,000), District Collector's office -- Rs 2.62 lakh (Rs 262,000), Police Commissioner's office -- Rs 1.31 lakh (Rs 131,000), PWD -- Rs 3.17 lakh (Rs 317,000), Police Control Room -- Rupees 2.03 lakh (Rs 203,000), Superintendent Mental Hospital -- Rs 4.83 lakh (Rs 483,000), Ravi Bhawan (complex of minister's cottages) -- Rs 2.73 lakh (Rs 273,000), Ravi Bhawan staff quarters -- Rs 1.20 lakh (Rs 120,000), and Devgiri, the deputy chief minister's official residence -- Rs 46,000.