MSEDCL in crisis!

Electricity arrears at Rs 74,000 crore; Fear of drowning in state darkness

MUMBAI: The state-owned power distribution company MSEDCL, which supplies power from Mulund-Bhandup in Mumbai to the corners of the state, is in dire straits due to arrears of Rs 74,000 crore, according to a presentation to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday. All the ministers, including the Chief Minister, expressed serious concern over the arrears. The fear of drowning in state darkness was also expressed at this time.

A presentation on the situation in the energy department was made to the ministers along with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday. Energy Minister Nitin Raut informed about the situation of MSEDCL. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil, Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Vadettiwar, Sports Minister Sunil K Dar and Agriculture Minister Dada Bhuse were present on the occasion.

Due to the policies of the previous BJP government, the arrears of MSEDCL have increased significantly in the last five years. After that, after the Mahavikas Aghadi government came, there were limits in the collection of electricity bill due to Karona and excessive rains. As a result, the arrears have gone up to Rs 73,879 crore and if this situation does not change, the state is in danger of sinking into darkness. MSEDCL needs to be considered for financial gain.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has asked for a solution report and it will be tabled in the cabinet meeting, said Energy Minister Nitin Raut. He also said that a consultant would be appointed to prepare the report.

During the presentation of some of the ministers, some of the ministers left the Tikastra in charge of the power company and the power department. Agriculture Minister Dada Bhuse objected to the figures in the presentation that the power consumption of agricultural pumps is 31 per cent. The statistics of power thefts are hidden and displayed in the name of agricultural pumps. The State Electricity Regulatory Commission was also criticized for blaming MSEDCL in this regard. There was also a question as to where exactly this electricity goes. Hundreds of crores of rupees are spent in the name of coal washing for Mahanirmithi projects. But in reality a little bit of coal is washed and used in large quantities. Vijay Vadettiwar pointed out that this was a big loss. Congress minister Sunil K Dar also left Tikastra in charge of the energy department. Electricity

If there is no need to improve the management of companies, then it is time for deregulation, said a senior minister. It is understood that Nitin Raut was also indirectly targeted by questioning the work being done from the social responsibility fund (CSR) of power companies.

Worrying picture

The total number of MSEDCL customers in the state is 2 crore 87 lakh. Now the arrears have reached Rs 73,879 crore and the total debt has reached Rs 45,440 crore.

Most in arrears

Agricultural pumps have arrears of Rs 49,575 crore. The arrears of street lights are Rs 6,199 crore and the arrears of public water supply are Rs 2,258 crore.

From agricultural pumps

Only 3.1 per cent electricity bill was collected, Ake Dwari said. It was also informed that cross subsidy of Rs 9257 crore is given to agricultural consumers.

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