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In a rare but extreme move, the NTPC Tamil Nadu Energy Company Ltd. (NTECL), a joint venture of National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (NTPC) and Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd (TANGEDCO), has issued notices to four power utilities of three southern States to clear dues of Rs.1,379.77 crore against the supply of power from its Vallur Thermal Power Project.
In the separate letters addressed to TANGEDCO, Transmission Corporation of Telangana Ltd (TSTRANSCO), Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company Ltd (GESCOM) and Hubli Electricity Supply Company Ltd (HESCOM) on Tuesday, the NTECL asked the utilities to clear the dues by April 26. It has also warned the power utilities of Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Karnataka that it would be forced to regulate (cut) the supply of power from Vallur plant in case the pending bills were not cleared.
Official sources stated that the NTECL was left with no other option but to take to the extreme step as the high dues of nearly Rs.1,380 crore was impacting clearance of bills by it to suppliers of coal and others. “The heavy dues have made the functioning of the joint venture difficult as it too has to meet commitments”, the sources noted.
Generally, the joint venture company as also other power generation companies in the country would give 60 days to their consumers, power utilities which get supply from them, for making payments against the energy utilised. But, a sizeable amount out of the outstanding dues of the three States was pending for more than the two-month period, the sources explained.
“In spite of repeated reminders to the utilities concerned, the dues remain to be unpaid and the NTECL is left with no other choice than serving regulation notices”, the sources claimed. The Vallur thermal plant of NTECL would supply a lion's share of its 1,500 MW generation to Tamil Nadu (1,066.95 MW).
In a swift response, HESCOM released about Rs.42 crore on Tuesday evening itself, the sources said and hoped that other utilities would follow suit.
Meanwhile, when contacted, Chairman and Managing Director of TSTRANSCO D. Prabhakar Rao, stated that they had not received any communication about defaulting from any supplier. On being asked about the dues to NTECL he said they did not owe dues to any supplier. If there were some they would be cleared in the regular course.
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