Even a former Union minister in Gurgaon is not spared of the apathy of the power department. A resident of South City-1, former Union minister of health and family welfare Dr Shakeelur Rehman, 71, got a new electricity meter installed two months ago but the reading started from 2,402 units and the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) slapped a bill of Rs15,000.
Despite various complaints to the power distribution agency, Rehman claims, officials paid no heed to his pleas. A heart patient, Rehman is bedridden and struggles to make both ends meet with his pension. He lives with his wife in Gurgaon.
Rehman said, “I have never taken bribe in my entire life but now I feel nothing moves without it. My meter was not working so I requested the department and got it changed. To my surprise, the new meter reading started from 2,402 units and the bill for December-January came to around Rs15,000.”
He added that his average electricity bill used to be maximum Rs3,000, that too during summer season when domestic power consumption is at its peak.
“I get Rs20,000 as pension and a huge amount is spent on my medicines. I had to borrow money to pay the hefty bill. I made many requests to the department, made endless phone calls but nobody came forward to help,” Rehman said.
Helpless, the former minister approached ‘Jagran Manch’, a city-based NGO.
Rakesh Sharma, president of the NGO, said, “If a former minister is treated like this, then we can well imagine how much trouble a common man faces. If authorities concerned do not solve the issue, we will be compelled to stage a protest outside the DHBVN office.”
Subhash Deswal, superintending engineer, DHBVN, said, “We have not received any complaint so far but I will check personally and find out that what the issue is. The matter will be resolved soon.”
A noted poet, Rehman has also been honoured with the Ghalib Award, Urdu Academy Award, a National Award from India and Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi Award from Pakistan.
He also served as Vice-Chancellor of University of Bihar and University of Kashmir.