PDD tightens noose around ‘powerful’ defaulters

Department To Snap Electricity, Seize Movable Properties Of Deadbeats

MUDDASIR ALI

Srinagar, Feb 1: Tightening the noose around “powerful and willful” defaulters, the Power Development Department (PDD) has decided to embark on an ambitious drive beginning Saturday with the disconnection of electricity supply to the consumers who have turned “chronic” deadbeats.
Sources said, apart from disconnecting the power installations of the consumers against whom the outstanding electricity bills have swelled to Rs 10 lakh or above, the department is “seriously” weighing the option of seizing their movable properties including vehicles and other accessories.
PDD has, according to highly placed sources, already filed a caveat in the State High Court to ensure legal sanctity to the action proposed by it under law. On January 17, the Department served two-week disconnection notice to consumers in commercial category against whom the electricity bills have swelled to Rs 10 lakh or more.
The list includes 130 consumers against whom the total arrears pending are Rs 54 crore - Rs 39 crore against 103 consumers in Jammu and Rs 14 crore against 27 consumers in Kashmir. Many of these listed defaulters owe more than Rs 20 lakh individually as power arrears to PDD and in one such case, a consumer owning an industrial unit has defaulted on more than Rs 1 crore power bill.
On Wednesday last, PDD came out with another list of consumers who have defaulted on payment of electricity bills of rupees five lakh or more. They too have been served two-week notice to clear the arrears.
Those figuring in the two lists include Nawa-e-Subah - the headquarters of ruling National Conference in Srinagar, famed Hari Niwas Palace owned by senior Congress leader and former Sadr-e-Riyasat, M/S Simula Software Solutions & Research Centre, Jammu, owned by Hilal Ahmad Rather son of Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather, Irfan Raza Ansari C/O Access, who is the son of senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader, Moulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, Dr Amjad Abbas Ansari R/O Qamarwari and Muhammad Saleem Rather (Shiraz Cinema).
It also includes some prominent business establishments like Tramboo Joinery Mills, Airtel Qamarwari, Tramboo Cement Industries, INFRATEL LTD, an Army Goodwill School in Lidroo Pahalgam, and several cellular companies including Tata, BSNL and Reliance.
While the total power tariff arrears against consumers in Jammu and Kashmir have swelled to Rs 1160 crore, Government departments owe almost Rs 810 crore to the PDD and the arrears against domestic and commercial consumers are around Rs 350 crore.
Sources said in some cases the defaulters who had started some business ventures, have either “abandoned” their property or they have closed these down.
“In such cases the department will seize the moveable properties,” sources said.
The under-recoveries has been the biggest problem faced by the PDD which is struggling to enhance its performance.
The losses on account of purchase and supply of electricity touched an all time high of around Rs 1900 crore during 2011-12 and were pegged to cross around Rs 2100 by the end of this fiscal due to mismatch between revenue collection and power purchase.
While the PDD purchased electricity worth Rs 3100 crore from different Grids and power stations during 2011-12, it collected Rs 1203 crore only as power revenue against the target of Rs 1600 crore.
For the ongoing financial year the government revised revenue target to around Rs 1800 crore. But it is expected to fall short of targets.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 2 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST




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