SOON AFTER the Assembly election, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) launched a massive drive across the state to recover its dues from government as well as non-government institutions. And, till date, PSPCL has recovered Rs 157.5 crores of the total outstanding amount of Rs 1,068 crores for which 1.54 lakh power connections have been snapped. The government departments that have defaulted are irrigation, water works, municipal councils, police department, administrative offices, etc.
The latest drive was in Ludhiana on Monday when Ludhiana Central Jail’s power supply was disconnected for non-payment of bill as the outstanding amount is Rs 1.08 crores. Before that, supply to Faridkot and Nabha jails had also been disconnected for non-payment of bills. Besides, connection of Ghubaya College of Engineering and Technology in Jalalabad was also snapped two days back for non-payment of power bills worth Rs 24 lakh. The college is owned by rebel SAD MP Sher Singh Ghubaya.
The government departments are the major defaulters as out of Rs 1,068 crores, Rs 745 crores is owed by various government departments alone and Rs 323 crores by private organisations.
Information revealed that out of Rs 745 crores, only Rs 49.8 crores have been recovered till date while from private institutions recovery is Rs 107.66 crores against the outstanding amount of Rs 323 crores.
PSPCL data revealed that a total of 1.26 lakh non-government connections had been snapped for non-payment of bills while 28,036 government connections were disconnected post state polls. The department, incidentally, did not swing into action during the poll campaign as it could have invited the ire of general public as power disconnection includes stopping supply of power to Abohar Municipal Council (AMC), Fazilka Municipal Council and waterworks of over 600 villages.
AMC President remil Kalani said, “We have paid the outstanding bills and our supply will be restored by tomorrow morning.” However, residents of Abohar are facing acute water shortage while sewer disposal has also been affected. Confirming the ongoing drive, PSPCL Director KL Sharma said, “We conduct our drive against defaulters every year and hence it is not a new drive. We have no choice but to disconnect power connections as we have to collect dues. This drive will continue.”
Gurdaspur tops in bill payment
Regarding payment of bills from government institutions, Gurdaspur district has comes out on top as so far out of a collection of Rs 49.8 crores, Rs 15.9 crores have been paid by Gurdaspur alone.