Maharashtra’s Energy Minister Nitin Raut on Sunday lashed out at defaulters of power bills and threatened to cut off their power supply. Anguished at accusations of higher electricity bills, he claimed that power department employees put their lives at risk during Covid lockdowns to ensure uninterrupted electricity to people who were at home during the Covid lockdown but many did not pay bills on time.
“They say ‘do this for us, do that for us’ but they don’t pay electricity bills. So, we will cut off their power supply. This (electricity) is not free and we will not forgive (defaulters),” Mr Raut said at an event in Akola.
His comments come at a time when farmers in the state have been protesting against electricity bills. Mr Raut, however, has made his intentions clear that power supply will be cut off if bills are not paid on time.
“When you were sitting at home in lockdown, people were working here for you day and night. You used refrigerators, coolers, TVs, laptops and we provided you 24-hr electricity supply. Our people were on the road day and night and many of them lost their lives,” the Minister added.
Farmers in the state have been protesting the snapping of power supply to agricultural consumers by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL). They have also alleged discrepancies in the power bills, which they claim can come down by as much as half if corrected.