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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

Power bill defaulters, UHBVN is out to ‘shame’ you

Vishal Joshi, Hindustan Times   KARNAL, August 14, 2013
First Published: 20:32 IST(14/8/2013) | Last Updated: 20:33 IST(14/8/2013)

Following in the footsteps of nationalised banks, the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has decided to “name and shame” bill payment defaulters.

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Under the plan, the names, addresses and payment due on the defaulters will be posted on the official website of the nigam — www.uhbvn.com.

An exercise to prepare a comprehensive databank of bill defaulters had been started, MS Dahiya, superintendent engineer (SE), Panipat circle, told Hindustan Times on Tuesday.

Of late, various nationalised banks have started making public the names and addresses of loan defaulters and their bank gurantors. The details, including photographs, are pasted prominently at respective branches of the banks in the country.

“According to an official communication received from the headquarters, an idea has been conceptulised to recover payments pending towards erring consumers for the past several years,” Dahiya said.

The UHBVN has 11 districts — Panchkula, Ambala, Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Panipat, Sonepat, Rohtak, Jhajjar, Jind and Kaithal — under its jurisdiction.

According to UHBVN officials, the annual bill recovery of each of district is between Rs. 1.5 crore and Rs. 2 crore, a pointer to the financial losses that the nigam is facing. They said only residential users were the offenders as electricity connections to industrial consumers were cut if they failed to clear the bills in time.

Sources said that though number of defaulters was high in rural areas, the amount of pending dues was more in urban areas due to high consumption.

An official said lists of the erring consumers were sent to the panchayats but it had hardly produced any result. “We will popularise the concept so that the habitual offenders are exposed in the public, forcing them to clear the dues pending for years,” an official said.

To ensure recovery, the nigam has decided to reward those assisting the UHBVN in identifying the defaulters.

“It is an uphill task to locate the erring power consumers,” Kaithal circle SE BG Garg said, adding that informers would be awarded with 20% of the dues pending before 2010, while 10% of the bill amount would be given to people tipping-off on post-2010 defaulters.

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