The state government has put on hold the controversial decision of Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU), the power distribution company in charge of electricity supply in central part of the state, to collect additional security charges from the consumers.
“As of now the collection of additional security money has been put on hold and CESU has been directed to submit a detailed report in this regard to the state government after which the future course of action will be decided,” said Arun Sahu, minister of state for energy.
The minister on Monday reviewed the decision of the discom after facing flak from the consumers and opposition parties.
CESU had issued notices to consumers threatening to disconnect the electricity connections if the consumers failed to pay the revised security charges. CESU is currently managed by Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) since the exit of AES from its management in 2001.
Opposition Congress had criticised the move. “The decision to collect additional security from the consumers is certainly a burden on the people of Odisha,” Niranjan Patnaik, president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) said.
The CESU authorities had stated that they have taken the decision in accordance with the OERC guidelines and there is nothing new in revised security charges as it was done in line with increased power tariff.
The power distribution company had already issued similar notices to industrial units ahead of issuing notices to domestic consumers. As per the new order, consumers of CESU now have to pay two months of average power bills in advance to the discom, else they will have to pay 15 to 30 per cent surcharge over and above their monthly bills.