MeECL disconnects power supply at Tura Polytechnic

TURA, Feb 12: The largest technical institute of the government in the Garo Hills, the Tura Polytechnic, has been plunged into darkness since Thursday night after its electricity supply was cut off by the state power corporation for failure to pay its dues that have accumulated close to Rs 3 lakh.
Though the authorities of the institute maintain that they clear pending power bills every three months, yet, the high figure of Rs 2.5 lakh dues was staggeringly high in the eyes of the power department to force its shutdown.
With the principal of the institute out of station, it was left to the vice principal and the accounts officials to rush to MeECL office in Tura to try and get the power restored, unsuccessfully.
Sources informed that power is expected to be restored only by Monday, after payment is made.
The MeECL was forced to take the step after the institute failed to clear the backlog despite a one-month window provided to all defaulters, government commerce and public, to clear their dues by the end of last month.
With the MeECL and its sister corporations like the power distribution and transmission (MeEPDCL) facing acute revenue loss to the tune of several hundred crore in the last couple of years, the corporation under its new head, Chairman cum Managing Director Arunkumar Kembhavi IAS, has begun tightening the belt to ensure the corporation is able to obtain the money due to it from its subscribers.
Subscribers, particularly commercial and government, besides individual public consumers, who have been defaulting for months to pay up were given an opportunity to clear their dues by January 31, this year.
“It was a one-time settlement opportunity given to the subscribers. One could either take a 30 percent reduction of the total amount to pay or get a 100 percent waiver of the Delayed Payment Charges (DPC). Sadly, there was a very poor response to it from the defaulters,” revealed power department officials while speaking to The Shillong Times.
With lack of enthusiasm from defaulters to take advantage of this scheme, officials from the MeECL were directed to move in and cut off power, beginning with government and commercial  units or departments followed by consumers having defaulted for months with high dues.
While essential government departments such as medical and police have been left out of the ambit of disconnection, others like the polytechnic could soon face a similar situation unless dues are cleared soon.

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