GUWAHATI: It's strange but true; and official too! Various departments of the Assam government are yet to clear the dues of electricity bills amounting to Rs 73 crore to the APDCL (Assam Power Distribution Company Limited). Interestingly enough, this amount includes the outstanding bills of several earlier months also till June 2021. Mentionably, the APDCL is presently on a bill-collection overdrive by imposing fines and cutting power connections of the defaulting individuals and firms. Since June, the power company has been launching a drive against the theft, and unauthorised use of electricity besides the non-payment of electricity bills across the State.
Following this drive, the APDCL collected Rs 501 crore of revenue in June 2021 itself. Incidentally, this was the highest-ever culled monthly revenue by the power-distribution company this year. In May 2021, the APDCL had culled a total revenue of Rs 360 crore.
An APDCL official said, "Till March, various departments had dues of Rs 95 crore to the APDCL. The amount increased to Rs 106 crore which also include various other charges for that fiscal. After several departments cleared their dues, now the outstanding amount from the other defaulting departments is Rs 73 crore till June 2021."
He added, "Till March 2021, the maximum amount of Rs 21.31 crore is pending from the PHE (Public Health Engineering) department."
The other defaulting departments along with the pending amount are: DGP Head Office (Rs 4.5 crore); Health Department (Rs 10 crore); Lok Nirman Bibhag (Rs 4.29 crore), Irrigation Department (Rs 6.39 crore), and the General Administration Department (Rs 5.21 crore).
When asked, APDCL CGM (Chief General Manager) Abhijit Sarma Barua said, "A news item is being circulated in the digital and social media that a huge amount of pending energy bill of Rs 4.5 crore is yet to be cleared by the DGP's office. In this regard, the APDCL would like to clarify that payment of energy bills of nine government departments including the departments of Irrigation, Health, General Administration, Home and Police are paid on a regular basis by the GAD (General Administration Department) of the Government of Assam."
It may be mentioned that senior officials of APDCL informed the media on June 2, 2021 here that the power distribution company is yet to receive Rs 2,000 crore from consumers (individuals and various firms).