According to the data from Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited’s over 13 lakh customers from Pune have pending power bills worth Rs 1,800 crores. These bills are pending for months and are pushing the company into a financial crunch.
The pending bills are owned by customers from households, agricultural firms, and major industries. During the COVID-19 lockdown, the company had a rapid rise in unpaid electricity bills. As per the official data, Rs 1,148 crore worth of power bills were pending before the lockdown.
The amount has increased by around Rs 726 crores in the last eight months. The defaulted customers in Pune has also gone up by 4.62 lakh since the start of the nationwide lockdown.
MSEDCL official said, “From March to September this year, the number of consumers who have not paid the power bills increased by 4.62 lakh. At present, the Pune zone- which includes Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad civic limits, Junnar, Ambegaon, Maval, Khed, Mulshi, and Velhe talukas – has 12.32 lakh household, commercial, and industrial consumers, and around 1.22 lakh consumers from the agriculture sector. The household and others owe Rs. 824 crores, while the agriculture consumers owe Rs 1,051 crore.”
In disparity, MSEDCL had received various complaints regarding power bills during the lockdown with some relating to the bill without meter reading. As a result, the official confirmed that such issues have been resolved now, and the customers have acknowledged their bills are correct, however, they are yet to pay the bills.