Amidst reports of reduction of power supplies to seven districts of Jharkhand by Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) with effect from July 1 over non-payment of power bills, Jharkhand Bijli Vitaran Nigam Ltd.(JBVNL) recently said steps have been initiated for early release of funds to the power major.
Earlier this year from February 28 to March 14, DVC had cut power supplies to the seven districts - Dhanbad, Ramgarh, Hazaribagh, Koderma, Bokaro, Giridih and Chatra - by as much as 50 per cent after JBVNL faulted on payment of monthly power bills.
“Talks are on with DVC on pending power bills. Payments to DVC have been delayed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Since JBVNL has purchased power from DVC, payments will be made. Delays in payments since March this year are due to reasons beyond our control. Steps have been initiated for early release of pending payments to the power major,” Rishi Nandan, general manager (commercial), JBVNL, told TOI.
Power sources revealed that while no formal notice has been issued regarding reduction of power supplies to Jharkhand, DVC officials have already communicated to that they will begin to regulate power supplies with effect from July 1, next week, if pending power bills are not cleared by JBVNL. Sources added that in March this year, Rs 400 crore was released to DVC, though further payments have been delayed due to the prevailing Covid-19 crisis.
On March 14 this year, JBVNL had signed an MoU with DVC undertaking to pay Rs 200 crore to DVC on account of power bills every month. Regarding accumulated pending bills, JBVNL promised to take steps to clear the outstanding amounts. JBVNL had further pointed out that a petition has already been filed before Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) for waiving Rs 2,000 crore claimed by DVC as penalty for non-payment of monthly power bills. JBVNL had pressed that pending a final decision by APTEL, normalcy in power supplies be ensured by DVC.
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