GUWAHATI: 'Ghost consumers' are a hurdle for the APDCL (Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd) towards attaining 100 per cent billing efficiency.
According to Power Minister Bimal Borah, APDCL is trying to detect 'ghost consumers' to disconnect their power connections. "Our billing efficiency is not 100 per cent because of ghost consumers. APDCL employees do not find ghost consumers in their given addresses to hand over their power bills," he said.
According to official sources, the state has around 1.50 lakh 'ghost consumers'. The number was even more, but the APDCL reduced it to 1.50 lakh through a detection drive.
Some people take power connections but shift to other areas later without informing the APDCL. Shifting of power consumers may be inter-district or intra-district. The rule says that a power consumer should inform the APDCL of his shifting. APDCL disconnects a consumer's line temporarily if the consumer defaults on payment for a month. However, the billing of the fixed charge continues even if the consumer does not consume power at all. The billing of the fixed charge of 'ghost consumers' continues even when they shift from their given addresses. It prevents the APDCL from attaining 100 per cent billing efficiency.
The APDCL is carrying out an area-wise drive to detect 'ghost consumers' to disconnect their power connections permanently, sources said.
Sources said that under the 'Soubhagya Scheme', 13.99 lakh households in the state got free power connections. As many as 10,623 villages under the scheme DDUDGJY (Deendayal Upadhayay Gram Jyoti Yojana) and 5,271 villages under the DDUJY-New Scheme got power connections. The target of the Government is to provide power connection to every household. If these two schemes have not covered any households, the APDCL will give them power connections with their own funds, sources said.
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