The snapping of power to streetlights and parks in north Delhi is set to snowball into a political controversy, with the BJP-ruled north municipal body on Tuesday terming the move as “politically motivated”.
The North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) had snapped power supply to streetlights and parks in north Delhi on Monday. The supply remained disrupted on Tuesday.
Leader of the House Mahender Nagpal shot off a letter to the police chief, asking him to take action against the power distributer. “Streetlights are meant for public safety. How can they leave streets unsafe during Holi,” he said.
Roads in six key areas of north Delhi — Civil Lines, Pitampura, Keshavpuram, Vijay Nagar, Rohini and Wazirpur — faced a total blackout. According to NDPL, power to 45,000 streetlights was disconnected as the corporation owes it Rs 60 crore in electricity bills. The discom had first served notice in 2011, asking the unified MCD to pay up the money or face disconnection.
“Tata Power DDL (TPDDL) tried to resolve the issue on Tuesday by approaching the mayor and municipal commissioner but no serious attempt from the corporation was visible. We even asked it to release around 50% of the dues to restore power but the corporation made no such commitment. Hence the power supply will be disconnected indefinitely,” said an NDPL representative.
On its part, the corporation on Tuesday launched a counter-attack, saying that it would attach the discoms’ bank account over non-payment of property taxes. “The discom owes around R19 crore towards property tax. If the company disrupts public utility services, we will attach their accounts,” said standing committee chairman Yogendra Chandolia.
The corporation has also decided to charge rent from the power discom for installation of transformers and sub-stations on civic land.
The commissioner of north corporation also held a meeting with TPDDL officials to resolve the issue.
Power disruption echoes in Assembly
New Delhi: The BJP raised the issue of disruption of power supply in north Delhi in the assembly on Tuesday. A number of party MLAs alleged that power to streetlights was disconnected at the behest of the Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
BJP member Rabindra Bansal said dark streets have rendered several areas unsafe for the people.
Responding to the Opposition charges, Delhi power minister Haroon Yusuf condemned the “irresponsible” attitude of the North Corporation. He said the government expects the civic body to pay the pending dues to “minimise inconvenience caused to the people”.