The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has started sending SMSes carrying disconnection notices to consumers who owe dues of more than two months.
The stern measure, which asks for payment of dues within 15 days, has evoked sharp criticism with a section of consumers citing weak financial condition due to the pandemic situation and curbs associated with it.
As per section 56 (1) of the Indian Electricity Act (IEA) 2003, it is mandatory for MSEDCL to serve notices to consumer 15 days prior to the disconnection. To comply with the laid down norm, the state power utility establishes necessary communication through registered mobile number of consumers.
“There exist genuine reasons for consumers for non-payment of power bill. The MSEDCL cannot go hammer and tong against such consumers who are at the receiving end of Covid-19 in many ways,” said Asha Majalgaokar, a consumer from the CIDCO area said.
The MSEDCL Aurangabad zone, which covers Aurangabad and Jalna districts, has over 6.83 lakh residential consumers besides over 70,000 commercial and industrial consumers, among other categories.