The Assam Power Distribution Corporation Limited (APDCL) Jorhat has outstanding power tariff dues to the tune of about Rs 22 crore.

Addressing newspersons at the Bijuli Bhawan, Jorhat on Thursday evening, the Jorhat based general manager of APDCL Jorhat Zone Debajyoti Das said Electric Circle (Jorhat and Majuli districts) presently have about 2.5 lakh consumers.

Das said the Electric Circle (Jorhat and Majuli districts) has over Rs 20 crore arrears pending from a section of the consumers, mostly government institutions in Jorhat district.

Under the jurisdiction of Jorhat Zone, there are five Upper Assam districts including Golaghat, Jorhat, Majuli, Sivasagar and Charaideo.

The general manager stated that the maximum amount of outstanding dues were owed by the government-owned Assam Tea Corporation Limited gardens in Jorhat district which was about Rs 13 crore and had been pending for a long period of time.

Next was the Public Health Engineering department, which owed arrears to the tune of Rs 2.46 crore, Jorhat Municipal Board (JMB) Rs 21 lakh for street lights, Urban Water Supply and Sewarage Board (Jorhat) had arrears pending of 42 lakhs, but last month Rs 15 lakh had been paid out of the said amount, Das disclosed.

The general manager was apprehensive that with JMB installing high-mast lights in public places last month the outstanding amount could spiral upwards if not paid in time.

He further said the Dergaon- based Police Training College (quarters) in Golaghat district had arrears pending of about Rs 1.5 crores and Jorhat Development Authority Public Bus Terminus more than Rs 6 lakh pending to the APDCL Jorhat.

In order o improve the infrastructure of the power distribution in Jorhat Electric Circle which includes Jorhat and Majuli, Das informed that the power scenario in Jorhat district had improved significantly in the past few years.

Das stated that the demand in the summer season was 65 MW and 42 MW during winter respectively, which was being mostly catered to.

“However, due to certain constraints faced in the distribution of power supply there remained a minor gap sometimes, ” he said.

Das said the work of augmenting the infrastructure of electricity distribution to consumers by replacing the old components in the system and installing more power sub-stations and transformers to reduce transmission losses and better-uninterrupted supply were underway in full swing under various government schemes.

The CEO of Jorhat Electric Circle Syed Abu Nasim Fakhruddin said that two more power sub-stations were under installation process at Bhogamukh and Gabhoru area of the district.

The total number of power sub-stations in the Jorhat district will be 30 then.

He informed that there were power cuts across Jorhat town in recent times due to maintenance and replacing of materials, or for relocating of cables due to the ongoing construction of the Rail overbridge at Na-Ali.

He said to reduce the inconvenience of the consumers’ announcements of the timing of power shutdowns in different areas were given in advance through newspapers, mobile phone messages to registered consumers and loudspeakers in public places.

Robert Handique, AGM, Jorhat Electrical Division-I), Mukut Das, AGM, Rural Electrification), Kamala Kanta Pegu, AGM, Teok Electric Division) and Bubby Rajkhowa , AGM, HR, were present along with Das during the interaction.

Earlier, principal secretary (Power) Niraj Verma reviewed the power scenario of Upper Assam via video-conferencing.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com