The power supply of individual consumers was disconnected few times but it had to be restored due to pressure and agitations.
Mumbai: Starting on Tuesday, Reliance Energy will pull the plug on power supply to Siddharth colony, Chembur, over the recovery of dues of over Rs 63 crore from 3,250 customers that have been pending since over a decade. The move is likely to create tension in the locality as most of the consumers belong to the dalit community. However, Reliance officials said that they have waited for a long time on humanitarian grounds. When cheques worth Rs 11 crore, given on behalf of the consumers, got dishonoured, the company was forced to take action.
According to Reliance officials, the residents did not pay their bills despite several notices and installment offers, resulting in arrears of more than Rs 63 crore in the past 10 years. Between 2005 and 2013, Reliance employees could not take the meter reading because the residents threatened them and even beat them up.
The power supply of individual consumers was disconnected few times but it had to be restored due to pressure and agitations. Union minister Ramdas Athawale mediated a few times. In August 2017, Reliance held a meeting of consumers and cheques worth Rs 48.10 cr were issued. Cheques worth Rs 11 crore got dishonoured, forcing the company to initiate legal proceedings which are pending before the magistrate, said sources.
Under section 56 (1) of the Electricity Act, 2003, power supply can be disconnected for non-payment of dues. A Reliance spokesperson said that the company will restore power supply immediately upon settlement of dues.