Students in the capital’s MCD schools are sweating it out in the heat. For, the electricity connections at several primary schools, being run by the civic agency, have been cut due to non-payment of bills.
The much-hyped pre-paid metering system, implemented by the civic body in these schools three months back, has led to the crisis. Although the value of the pre-paid recharge card to pay electricity bills has been used up, the school authorities do not have the money to purchase new coupons.
“We have received several complaints from schools and dispensaries about the value of pre-paid recharge card getting used up and schools not having funds to buy new cards. Many students have not been coming to the schools to avoid the heat. It is sheer mismanagement on the part of the Deputy Commissioners of the zones,” said Vijendra Gupta, chairman of the MCD’s Standing Committee.
He said, “We will raise the issue in the Standing Committee meeting tomorrow.” The civic body has received complaints from schools from several areas, such as F-block in Patel Nagar, Rewala in Khanpur, G and C6 Sultanpuri, Meetha Kuan in Civil Lines zone, Naraina, Azadpur and Jehangirpuri, among others.
“Students are being forced to brave such harsh conditions. Once the coupon is used, it takes several days to get a new card sanctioned. It shows the pre-paid metering system was launched in a haste,” said Jai Kishan Sharma, Opposition leader.
The decision to install the pre-paid system in all the municipal buildings was taken in December last year to streamline the payment of bills and to keep a tab on wastage of electricity. A budget of Rs 36 crore was allocated for the project.
“We were getting inflated bills from the distcoms for quite some time and, hence, we decided to use pre-paid metering system. The distcoms have already installed the system at many of our buildings and soon all our buildings will be have this system,” added Gupta.