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Even as thousands of people lined up outside the banks and ATMs across the national capital, the private discoms that have been allowed to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes for bill payments, sources said, have seen an approximate increase of 200 per cent consumer footfall at the 228 cash counters across the city.
Sources at the discoms told The Indian Express that the two Reliance-owned Delhi discoms — BSES Yamuna Power and BSES Rajdhani Power — have seen two to three times surge in footfall between November 11 and 14. The third private discom, Tata group-owned TPDDL, sources said, saw a similar surge in the first two days after the government decided to allow the discoms to accept the demonetised currency.
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BYPL distributes power to an area spread over 200 square km and has at least 1.5 million customers spread over 14 districts across central and east Delhi, including Chandni Chowk and Daryaganj. BRPL distributes power to an area spread over 750 square km and has at least 2.2 million customers spread in 19 districts across south and west Delhi.
Sources said that on any normal day, these discoms see not more than 35,000 customers at the cash counters as most people pay their bills through cheque or through demand draft.
The TPDDL, which distributes electricity in north and northwest Delhi and has a customer base of 1.51 million, sources said, witnessed approximately 200 per cent footfall on the first day and then, a gradual drop. On an average, sources said, TPDDL sees at least 30,00-35,000 consumers at the cash counters.
The day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation drive, the discom saw 90,000 consumers at the cash counters.
According to Delhi’s power regulator — the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) — consumers can pay
bills through cash only up to Rs 4,000. It is mandatory that transactions above Rs 4,000 be made online or through cheques.