Power might not flow from the barrel of guns for many proud gun-wielders of Chambal region if they don’t pay their electricity bills.
Playing upon the extreme fascination of the people of the Chambal region for owing guns, collectors of Gwalior, Guna, Bhind and Shivpuri districts plan to come up with a disincentive scheme to make them cough up power dues.
The plan is simple: Gun licenses will be cancelled if the people owning them do not clear their power dues.
Recovery of power bills in the Gwalior-Chambal region is among the lowest in India. In Gwalior district alone, the dues have mounted up to Rs 170 crore.
MP Central Region Power Distribution Company CMD Sanjay Shukla told HT that the company indeed urged the collectors to take this unusual measure if power defaulters don’t repay dues.
Gwalior Collector Akash Tripathi told HT that he has provided details of arms license holders to the power
company. “ It will get back to us with names of the defaulters and we would issue notices to them”, he said. He is confident that this initiative will work.
“People in this region are crazy about firearms and the fear of losing their license would certainly force them to pay dues,” he reasons.
Guna collector Mukesh Gupta and Bhind Collector Suhail Ali are also ready to follow their Gwalior counterpart.
There are 25,000 active gun licenses in Gwalior and outstanding power dues in the district alone has crossed Rs 170 crore, the Collector informed.
Inspiration for this new plan perhaps come from an earlier initiative of the then Shivpuri collector Manish Shrivastava, who had offered firearm licenses as an incentive for people to go for family planning operations. We have to wait and see if this disincentive scheme would work.