On Tuesday, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said that power supply will not be terminated upon failure to pay bills, amid COVID-19 lockdown. This comes as a major relief for the people of Uttarakhand.
"In the larger interest of power consumers, the Chief Minister has instructed not to cut any power connection of any category consumer in the state for non-payment of electricity bills till June 30, 2020," the CMO said in a statement.
The statement further reads that private consumers who pay their bills before June 30 will be given a discount on tax. This decision is likely to benefit 20,000 farmers. The state government will stand the financial burden of Rs 3.64 crore from this decision.
"The recovery of fixed / demand charge towards power consumption for the period between March 2020 and May 2020 is being postponed from the industrial and commercial category consumers. Late payment surcharge will be exempted from this," the statement said.
This decision will benefit 2.70 lakh consumers and the financial burden of about Rs 8 crores by this decision will also be borne by the Uttarakhand government. Under the directive, all types of consumers can also avail a discount of 1 per cent if they use the online payment method to pay their electricity bills by the due date.
Earlier on April 2, CM Trivendra Singh Rawat ordered strict enforcement of the lockdown in the state, saying those who don't fall in line should be sternly dealt with. Rawat issued the orders immediately after participating in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's video conferencing with chief ministers of other states over the coronavirus outbreak.
"You must ensure strict implementation of the lockdown. Action should be taken under the Disaster Management Act against anyone who violates the Centre's guidelines," Rawat said.
People should be inspired to wear masks and all personnel engaged in fighting coronavirus should be properly trained, the chief minister said. People should also be told about the Ayush ministry guidelines on increasing immunity, Trivendra Singh instructed.
Social distancing should be maintained at all costs and officials should ensure that the banks are not overcrowded by beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Gharib Kalyan package who may come to withdraw their money, Rawat said. Special care should be taken of senior citizens living in old age homes or staying alone, he added.