Nagpur: At a time when most of the consumers are complaining that they are forced to pay high electricity bills, a peculiar trend of government employees defaulting on power bills have come to the fore. Now the MSEDCL has come up with an effective tool to do away with the piling up defaults.
MSEDCL has decided to install pre-paid electricity meters in government quarters. A circular issued by MSEDCL head office has directed the field officers to replace the existing meters by pre-paid ones on priority basis.
A source in MSEDCL said that many government servants did not pay their bills timely. “They got transferred or retired and left without paying bills of previous months. As per law we are supposed to recover it from their successor but this is neither fair nor practically possible. It is also not possible to recover the dues from the defaulting government servants at the new place or after retirement,” he added.
The source further said that due to this reason government quarters owed dues running into crores to MSEDCL. “We needed a novel approach to this problem and hence the head office came up with the idea of pre-paid meters,” he added.
The field officers have been asked to visit government quarters and tell the occupants that they will have to agree to installation of pre-paid meters. “If a particular office does not have sufficient stock of pre-paid meters then it should intimate the head office within seven days,” said the source.
The field officers have also been directed to take steps to recover dues from government quarters. The company, which is in dire financial straits, has taken many steps to recover arrears worth Rs23,000 crore. It has agreed to pay commission to its retired employees for recovering arrears from domestic, commercial and industrial consumers.
Meanwhile, the company has directed the owners of its bill collection centres to not insist on hard copies of electricity bills but accept payment if the person produces an electronic bill.
“Mobile numbers of 136 lakh consumers are registered with MSEDCL. They are getting bills on their mobiles through SMSes. In the SMS all the required information for payment of bill — consumer number, bill amount, due date, etc is mentioned. With this information, bill can be collected at any collection centre,” said the source.
In case computerized cash collection system is not available then required information for generation of B-60 should be noted down from SMS on receipt of money.