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Home News Power Sector News Mounting losses - BSEB in do-or-die situation

Mounting losses - BSEB in do-or-die situation

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BiharIn what can be aptly described as a do-or-die situation, the Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB), which is incurring a loss of over Rs three crore per day, has decided to launch an intensive drive from next month to collect power dues from its consumers. Power consumers in the state owe BSEB Rs 7,000 crore, of which a sum of Rs 3,000 crore is owed by various government departments. Bihar's urban development department alone owes Rs 156 crore.

"The board's financial condition is very bad. It would be difficult for us to survive if we fail to meet the dues collection target as well as regular power billing," BSEB chairman P K Rai said.

BSEB has made a formal request to the Bihar State Electricity Regulatory Commission to announce the revised power tariff for the 2010-11. "The steep rise in the price of purchased power and fuel surcharge has worsened our situation," Rai said.

BSEB has identified at least 100 major payment defaulters. "In case of non-payment by them, we will be forced to disconnect power supply to them," board's member (finance) Vinayak Chandra Gupta said.

Rai and Gupta held video-conferencing with field officials on Monday and advised them to pull up their socks and start the dues collection drive on a priority basis. The video-conferencing continued for more than three hours, Gupta said and added the dues collection drive would continue till March next year.

Meanwhile, official BSEB sources admitted that the billing system was faulty. A large number of government bungalows and quarters are either unmetered or have faulty meters. BSEB also owes Rs 700 crore to NTPC, NHPC and PowerGrid.

A special task force has been constituted to monitor cases of power theft, non-functioning of meters etc in various parts of the state. To speed up revenue collection and check corruption, BSEB has decided to start a vigilance helpline from next month. Consumers may lodge their grievances as well as corruption cases through the helpline numbers, Gupta said.

Similarly, it has also been decided to organise an `open house session' in which trade unions, trading associations, retired BSEB staff and officials would be invited to give their suggestions to improve the BSEB functioning. Field officials have been directed to organise a `bijli adalat' every month at the district as well as divisional HQ-level for the consumers.

Source- Times of India

 

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