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The Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL), Arun Kumar Kembhavi, recently discovered several irregularities in the power connection and consumption of the industrial units in Ri Bhoi district.
Kembhavi and a team of officials uncovered the theft during his recent visit to two substations in Byrnihat, Ri Bhoi.
According to the team, the irregularities may have been happening for the past 20-25 years, which had resulted in power leakage and considerable loss to the MeECL.
Besides this, they found more irregularities related to the non-availability of technical personnel at the site.
The team also suspect that some officials of MeECL may have played a significant role in facilitating the fraudulent practice of power theft in Byrnihat.
Following the inspection, the CMD instructed the MeECL to begin an enquiry into the entire operation and take action against the ones involved.
Soon after the ‘One Time Settlement’ (OTS) Scheme was introduced last year, several industrial units came forward to avail the OTS Scheme from the state government.
The OTS Scheme allows for a waiver of 100 per cent of Delayed Payment Charges (DPC) or 30 per cent of the total outstanding dues, whichever is lower.
The OTS Scheme is the initiative of the current CMD.
According to a release issued by MeECL on Monday, the Scheme provides a way for all types of consumers, including consumers with outstanding electricity bills as of March 31, 2020, to pay their dues by the end of January 31, 2021.
The Scheme proved successful with 19 HT consumers and over 700 LT consumers paying their dues amounting to more than Rs. 29.5 crore in revenue.
"Despite the challenges of outstanding dues and liabilities, the current management launched many interventions to improve the financial health of the MeECL," the release stated.
Since assuming charge, the CMD introduced several measures to improve billing and collection efficiency, including the collection of old dues.
"The CMD has also put in efforts to increase power generation in the state, and enhance the revenue of the DISCOMS by offering incentives to promote industrialisation," it added.
(Edited by Andre Kongri)