Gruha Jyothi is a no show in 7 Telangana districts: Government blames successive MCC

Rangareddy, Vikarabad, Mahabubnagar, Gadwal, Wanaparthy, Nagarkurnool, and Narayanpet are yet to receive free power under Gruha Jyothi scheme

ByDeepika Pasham

Published Apr 12, 2024 | 9:00 AMUpdatedApr 12, 2024 | 9:00 AM

Gruha Jyothi is a no show in 7 Telangana districts: Government blames successive MCC

Successive implementations of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) have temporarily halted the provision of free power of up to 200 units under the Gruha Jyothi scheme for seven districts in Telangana.

The first instance of the poll code coming into effect was during the Member of Legislative Council (MLC) elections in March in the state.

Soon after came the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections, which meant that the MCC was in place once again.

As a result, the districts of Rangareddy, Vikarabad, Mahabubnagar, Gadwal, Wanaparthy, Nagarkurnool, and Narayanpet are yet to receive the benefits of the Gruha Jyothi scheme, which was launched on 27 February.

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TSSPDCL clarifies

Some individuals in a few of these districts experienced a period of receiving zero bills, but subsequently, the bill amounts returned to the previous levels. This has led to confusion among households regarding, among other things, their eligibility for zero bills.

However, the Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Corporation Limited (TSSPDCL) has assured that all those who applied through Praja Palana would receive the benefits of the scheme starting June, following the lifting of the poll code.

The issue regarding zero billing has been addressed following a report by a local media outlet, which highlighted the case of an individual who received a zero bill in March but subsequently received a bill in April.

So, the TSSPDCL clarified on X (formerly Twitter) that the bill in question was from the Saroor Nagar Circle of Ranga Reddy district.

The Gruha Jyothi Scheme could not be launched in the aforementioned seven districts in March due to the MCC being in place for the MLC elections.

However, a technical glitch reportedly occurred in the Spot Billing Machine (SBM), leading to the generation of erroneous bills for consumers in these districts, despite the scheme not being operational there.

This issue has been rectified in the Electronic Billing System (EBS) software, and normal bills have since been generated, the TSSPDCL noted on X.

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Beneficiaries speak up

A highly placed official from the TSSPDCL informed South First that the Gruha Jyoti scheme has been implemented for over 40 lakh beneficiaries from the day of its launch.

The applications received for the Gruha Jyoti scheme through Praja Palana forms in Telangana were over 43 lakhs, he added.

The official gave assurances that all of the eligible beneficiaries who applied for the scheme would be enrolled in time.

He added that Praja Palana centres were functional in all the districts for new beneficiaries, who could approach them after the MCC was lifted.

Some individuals, like K Naresh and T Kalyan from Rangareddy and Vikarabad, told South First, “Yes, the zero bills were generated [in March]. Then, we received a ₹700 bill on 5 April.”

They added: “We were told when we went to the electricity office that there was a glitch in the software because of which we got a zero bill. They also told us that our districts would get the Gruha Jyothi scheme in June.”

They also said: “The Electricity Department employees who visit houses must be told about the changes happening to create awareness or else we, the beneficiaries, will be in confusion.”

A daily wage labourer from Medchal Malkajgiri told South First that he faced the same issue: A zero bill in March and above ₹600 in April. The official of TSSPDCL responded to the enquiry that if bills were shared, the office would take care of it.

Meanwhile, the official also pointed out another problem for beneficiaries — the address on the Ration Cards, which is the main document for availing the scheme.

He cited a situation where a household’s official address is in the Ranga Reddy district but the family has moved out of that jurisdiction and yet still has the old address. Such applicants were facing issues, but it was being sorted out, he said.

(Edited by Arkadev Ghoshal)