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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Municipal Corporation of Delhi -MCD fails to pay, discom to switch off N Delhi streetlights

TOI NEW DELHI: The north Delhi roads may soon plunge into darkness with the power supplier North Delhi Power Limited threatening to cut electricity supply to streetlights in the area. The reason: The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has defaulted on the payment of maintenance charges amounting to Rs 11 crore.

NDPL officials said that while the regulatory body DERC had increased the maintenance charges of every streetlight point from Rs 73 to Rs 103, MCD continued to pay according to the old rates. There are over 1.2 lakh streetlight points powered by NDPL and the discom said financially it could not continue to supply power till the dues were cleared.

NDPL served a disconnection notice to MCD a fortnight ago but did not get any response, alleged officials. "We gave MCD 15 days to clear their arrears and the last date was November 16. Now, we are looking into our future course of action," said an official.
Disconnecting the power supply to streetlights could pose a security risk to north Delhiites. The areas likely to be affected include Rohini, Shalimar Bagh, Pitampura, Model Town, Delhi University, Kingsway Camp, Civil Lines and Ashok Vihar. MCD remained unavailable for comment.

The NDPL letter to the civic agency states: "DERC has revised streetlight maintenance charges from Rs 73 to Rs 103 per point per month from April 1, 2008, via order dated April 6, 2010. Accordingly, NDPL has been raising its bills. However, MCD, after constant reminders, has not paid NDPL as per revised rates which has resulted in accumulation of outstanding dues of Rs 11.21 crore till Septemnber 2011."

The discom has also mentioned other outstanding dues like statutory service tax. NDPL said it had even written to police citing security concerns if streets of north Delhi went powerless but maintained that the discom could not sustain itself and buy power if the dues were not cleared.

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