Bhubaneswar: “No favour shown to any industrial consumer,” clarified CESU in a press release, here on Friday, as opposition Congress and BJP opposed the power distribution company (discom) announced drive against power bill defaulters.

Congress MLA Suresh Kumar Routray and BJP spokesman Pruthiviraj Harichandan said in separate statements that their parties would oppose the move. They pointed out that the CESU is targeting only the domestic consumers and not the industrial houses.

Asserting that the disconnection drive will be launched from January 16 as planned, the Discom has said, “CESU wishes to clarify that its total pending arrear amount from all customers stands at Rs. 1950 Cores. Out of this total arrears an amount of Rs. 96.13 crores is pending five industrial units. The arrear cases against the industrial consumers are disputed and sub-judice in court of law. The Utility is fighting the cases and making all efforts to recover the dues. “

A spokesperson of CESU said, “The Govt of Odisha has given strict instructions to CESU to collect all its dues from industrial units regularly. As such in last four years CESU has collected 100% bill amount from all the industries. Rather in some cases CESU has also taken advance payment from industrial consumers. The Energy Department of Govt of Odisha has been regularly monitoring the arrear position of CESU especially in cases of industrial units. All the disputed cases are older than four years.”

The spokesperson said that It is a false allegation that CESU is favouring any industrial consumers. The utility values all its customer equally and does not differentiate between an industrial and domestic customer.

CESU spokesperson also urged all concerned to help in arrear collection drive. He said that it is responsibility of all concerned citizens to encourage a healthy practice of paying bills for consumed electricity. No company can survive unless all the sections of society help in discouraging theft of electricity and keeping pending arrears. The money of CESU is after all public money and all should be concerned about it.

The spokesperson further said that disconnection drive will be taken up from 16.01.2020 as announced earlier.