The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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DVC blackout punch to get dues

Ranchi, July 19: The Damodar Valley Corporation’s decision to reduce power supply to Jharkhand by 15 per cent for non-payment of bills will plunge half the state into darkness.

The restricted power supply will come into effect from tomorrow. At least 50 per cent of the state would be forced to go without power for about three and a half hours every day.

Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) chairman B.K. Chauhan told The Telegraph the impact of the sanctions would be severe in the DVC command areas, which include 11 of the 22 districts of the state. Chauhan said the JSEB owed about Rs 300 crore to the power giant.

The JSEB chief said during talks between chief minister Arjun Munda and DVC chief J.C. Jaitley in Ranchi last month, the power giant had agreed to continue normal supply to the state. “The government had agreed to clear the dues in response to the DVC gesture,” Chauhan added.

A DVC notice to the power board said there would be load shedding in two phases at all JSEB feeders, in the morning and in the evening for three and half hours. The notice points out that average bills raised by DVC on the JSEB grossed about Rs 38 crore per month.

“While DVC was paid Rs 38.20 crore in May and Rs 15.55 crore in June towards settlement of previous bills, current power bills raised by DVC since April 2003 have remained unpaid,” the notice said.

Referring to previous bills, the notice said up to September 30, 2001, the JSEB outstanding amount stood at Rs 1,074 crore that includes dues carried over from undivided Bihar. Beginning October 2001, the outstanding amount has grossed about Rs 380 crore, the notice said.

The DVC had imposed restricted supply to the state from March 22 to May 30 over non-payment of dues.

However, the notice said following the failure of the JSEB to clear bills, the DVC had no option but to reduce power supply to Jharkhand.

However, the mining areas of Chasnala, Govindpur, Giridih and Mossaboni have been kept out of the purview of the sanctions.

The JSEB chief said he had held talks with Union energy officials in an attempt to stall the DVC sanctions.

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