Starved by revenue deficit and Power theft, MSEDCL assigns extra duty to linemen

Starved by revenue deficit and Power theft, MSEDCL assigns extra duty to linemen

The Dark side of an Indian Power Utility is again revealed when the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has decided to put linemen to collect electricity charges for the energy consumed by its consumers. The power utility is approaching bankruptcy due to non-payment of electricity charges crossing 73000 Crores Indian Rupees. (9800 Million USD) Only one-third of the consumers under Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited has been paying electricity charges regularly showing the poor administrative status of the utility.
Electricity is supplied to a consumer in advance and later on, demand notice is served to collect the charge. Almost all revenue of an electricity utility falls from the current charge paid by the consumers. If
this is not monitored properly, better stop the business and engage somebody else who can manage the system well. As a last resort to prevent privatisation and to collect as much revenue as possible, the power utility has engaged linemen who normally has to undertake maintenance work on network lines and installations, has to visit consumers premises and arrange for payment of electricity. It may be noted that the disconnection of electricity of defaulted consumers is the panacea for realising revenue. Another method is to implement the prepaid metering system in which charges are collected in advance. But a system change requires huge capital investments. Public sector utilities like Kerala State Electricity Board Ltd(KSEB Ltd) has been successful in realising more than 90% of the billed amount even without the prepaid system of metering. Tamperfinder is not optimistic about the success rate of MSEDCL in this venture.

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