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State government and BMC top the highest defaulters of electricity bills to BEST

A defaulters list of ‘customers’ or ‘government accounts’ prepared by the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking, reveals a report that offices of the central, state government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corpration (BMC) are the highest defaulters of electricity bills, with total arrears of over Rs 38.38 crore pending to the BEST.

The BEST undertaking is reeling under such severe cash crunch that it is facing a tough time paying monthly salaries to its 42,000 employees. As a result, this month it decided to take a tough stand by sending notices to these defaulters.

The BEST undertaking has already shot notices to 242 ‘government accounts’, which includes 18 commercial accounts registered under the ‘Commissioner of Police’. There are also a total of 20 commercial and residential accounts listed against Deans of Grant Medical college, Lokmanya Tilak Medical college and JJ school of Arts. The defaulters list also includes commercial accounts listed against 11 under secretaries of the state government, 3 deputy secretaries and 3 secretaries.

There are 154 state government defaulters. Leading the list is the ‘Senior Inspector of Police Z-II’ office with pending power bills of Rs 67.53 lakh, followed by ‘Collector of Mumbai’ with a total of Rs 62.48 lakh. In the case of BMC defaulters, ‘residential’ connections of two head supervisors top the chart, with arrears of Rs 77 lakh and Rs 63 lakh. A total of Rs 11.38 crore is owed to the BEST by 71 BMC defaulter accounts.

“We have given a 15 day ultimatum. If they fail to pay bills even after the deadline, the management can cut power supply,” said BEST committee chairman Anil Kokil said.

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