Post TPDDL threat to switch off 65,000 streetlights in Delhi over unpaid dues, AAP govt steps in2 min read . Updated: 14 Oct 2020, 09:44 PM IST
- Lights off over non-payment of ₹22 crore in dues by Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation
NEW DELHI : New Delhi: Tata Power-DDL (TPDDL) has put off its plans to switch off around 65,000 streetlights from Thursday in the national capital, over non-payment of dues by Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) after the Delhi Government’ intervention, the electricity distribution utility said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The Delhi Govt has directed DSIIDC to the release the pending payment, pertaining to the maintenance of 65000 streetlights, of ₹8.72 crores immediately and the rest till March 21, based upon the agreed terms and conditions to Tata Power DDL. The decision was taken during a meeting convened today afternoon (Oct. 14, 2020). Considering the positive development Tata Power-DDL will continue to maintain the streetlights as usual," said a Tata Power-DDL spokesperson.
According to TPDDL, DSIIDC owes around Rs22 crore in dues to it.
“We all know that street lights act as a deterrent to crime and promote a sense of security among communities," said TPDDL, that supplies electricity in the northern part of Delhi in an earlier statement on Wednesday.
Street lighting is supposed to act as a deterrent to crime and promote a sense of security among communities. This development comes in the backdrop of street crime, particularly those directed at women, being a matter of grave concern.
“However, due to the outstanding payments from the last 32 months, Tata Power-DDL is unable to maintain these street lights installed in several unauthorised colonies in North and North West Delhi from tomorrow i.e. October 15, 2020. This may lead to unsafe conditions for lakhs of residents, especially senior citizens, women and children," the earlier statement added.
TPDDL had also said that it has written to the Delhi government, union power ministry, urban development secretary and Delhi Police Commissioner for their intervention.
A DSIIDC spokesperson couldn’t be immediately contacted.
This is not for the first time that the distribution utility that supplies power to around 1.42 million consumers in North Delhi has raised this issue. In August 2019, it had said that around 60,000 street lights were likely to be switched off in the northern part of the city over non-payment of Rs10 crore dues by North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and DSIIDC.
State government departments account for a lion’s share of the total dues to the electricity discoms. Electricity discoms are the weakest link in the electricity value chain, plagued by low collection, increase in power purchase cost, inadequate tariff hikes and subsidy disbursement, and mounting dues from government departments. India’s aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses to be around 22% and as on 31 March, discoms owed Rs2.25 trillion to power generation and transmission companies.
Electricity is supplied to Delhi consumers by TPDDL, Anil Ambani-controlled BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd (BRPL), BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL), Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd, Military Engineering Services (for Delhi Cantonment) and the New Delhi Municipal Council.
“It is noteworthy here that the maintenance of street lights in unauthorized areas costs the company (Tata Power-DDL) approx. ₹70 lakhs per month and the continuous non-payment of the invoices raised by us resulted in an accumulation of huge arrears," the earlier statement said.