In Kerala, electricity and water bill arrears pile up during COVID-19 pandemic
Dues owed by electricity and water shoppers to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) shoot up to over ₹2,000 crore every
Arrears on electricity and water payments have constructed up significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic months, present information launched by the Departments of Power and Water sources.
Dues owed by electricity and water shoppers to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) have shot up from ₹1,548.5 crore and ₹1,111.54 crore respectively in 2019-end to over ₹2,000 crore every, in response to the most recent obtainable information.
As of April 30 this yr, electricity shoppers owe the KSEB ₹2,461.82 crore. The largest defaulters included personal institutions (₹911.43 crore), State public sector establishments (₹773.73 crore) and home shoppers (₹484.66 crore), present information introduced within the State Legislative Assembly.
The KWA too has reported a rise in water bill dues. The State-run water utility is owed ₹2,067.25 crore by its shoppers. The largest water bill defaulters embrace non-domestic class (₹941.96 crore), home shoppers (₹316.79 crore) and native self-government establishments (₹737.63 crore), as per the most recent obtainable information.
Arrears on electricity bill funds had stood at ₹1,548.5 crore on December 31, 2019, whereas the excellent dues on water payments have been pegged at ₹1,111.54 crore in October 2019.
Senior KSEB and KWA officers attributed the sharp improve to the COVID-19 outbreak and the resultant restrictions that badly hit the gathering of electricity and water fees. With the pandemic-induced financial downturn upsetting livelihoods, the State authorities had directed the utilities to not disconnect provide to defaulters.
”Sections within the home class and industrial/industrial classes are discovering it onerous to pay their payments as a result of hardships attributable to the pandemic. The assortment of electricity fees has been hit by about 50%, though meter studying and billing are carried out easily,” stated KSEB chairman and managing director N. S. Pillai.
”The pandemic had pressured us to close the money counters, which hit assortment. The counters at the moment are open on choose days, strictly adhering to the COVID-19 protocol. The pandemic had additionally disrupted the meter studying train. We hope to take steps within the months forward to recuperate the dues,” stated Sreekumar G., Technical Member, KWA.