TGSPDCL claims to be in the dark over Adani project to collect power bills from Hyderabad’s Old City

Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy during an information conversation with journalists in New Delhi said the Adani Group would be made responsible for collecting electricity bills in the Old City.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published Jul 08, 2024 | 10:49 AM Updated Jul 08, 2024 | 10:49 AM

Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy told reporters in Delhi that the Adani Group will be given the responsibility for collecting power bills in the Old City. (Creative Commons)

The Southern Power Distribution Company of Telangana Limited (TGSPDCL) has received no intimation about the government assigning the Adani Group to collect electricity charges, officials claim.

Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy during an information conversation with journalists in New Delhi last week reportedly said the Adani Group would be made responsible for collecting electricity bills in the Old City.

TGSPDCL Chairman and Managing Director Musharraf Ali Faruqui said he had not received any intimation regarding Adani Group collecting the electricity bill.

“We received a letter from Adani Group on 25 June, asking us to provide the data of electricity bills to Adani Group, and we have provided it,” he told South First.

Faruqui further said the letter did not mention any specific location in Hyderabad. “I have not received any further orders about any pilot project,” he said.

The chief minister told journalists that 75 percent of the collected power tariff would go to the state exchequer and 25 percent to Adani.

A highly-placed source said the chief minister might have discussed the project during his London visit.

Also Read: Why is Telangana experiencing power cuts?

Opposition demands details

Opposition BRS leaders have opposed projects to the Adani Group, calling it the privatisation of Discoms. Citing news articles, BRS questioned if any tenders were issued or contracts invited.

They pointed out that while the former chief minister, K Chandrashekar Rao, faced scrutiny and potential notices for agreements with neighbouring state governments, Revanth Reddy has not clarified when and where the Adani project was discussed.

However TGSPDCL on its website notified that consumers could pay the electricity bills on its website and not on any other payment application,

“Dear Consumers, As per the RBI directions, the Service Providers viz., PhonePe, Paytm, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, and Banks have stopped to accept the electricity bill of TGSPDCL w.e.f. 01/07/2024. Hence, all the consumers are requested to make the monthly current bill payments through TGSPDCL website/TGSPDCL mobile App., Please,” it said.

As the discussion focused on the Old City, South First inquired with field officials about the situation regarding dues in the area.

“The population is largely below the poverty line, and many residents request extensions to pay their dues. On the other hand, some families become hostile when we attempt to check if bills have been paid or if there are illegal power connections,” they said.

“In the past, videos of workers beaten up for demanding electricity bill payments have been shared,” they said.

Also Read: Revanth Reddy invites Adani Group to invest in Telangana

One lakh downloads

Ronald Rose, Energy Department Secretary, informed South First that the Telangana government has not exited any payment gateways.

However, TGSPDCL received a mail on 30 June from payment gateways such as Google Pay, indicating that the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) has stopped accepting payments, and without BBPS the applications, they cannot process payments.

He added that the TGSPDCL application, as of 3 June, has one lakh downloads and through the app, individuals can pay via Google Pay and other platforms.

In October 2023, a viral video showed a resident of Moghalpura attacking a TGSPDCL employee who had gone to disconnect the power supply due to non-payment of dues. One man was arrested in the case.

Incidentally, during the past two days, the residents prevented TGSPDCL employees, mistaking them for Adani staff.

(Edited by Majnu Babu)

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