THE THREAT of power disconnection looms large over GSVM Medical College which owes over Rs 2 crore to the Kanpur Electricity Supply Company (KESCo).
About a month back the KESCo had snapped power supply to the medical college. The supply could only be restored after eight hours following the principal’s assurance to clear the dues.
According to informed sources, besides consumption of power in the classrooms and the laboratories, maximum amount of power is consumed by unauthorised residents on the college campus. A large number of unscrupulous persons have encroached upon the college land and constructed semi-pucca houses to live in there in connivance with the official staff of the college. Although they have been living there for several years but none of the college authorities has ever objected to their claims of residing there or using the “free” power for various purposes. Some of them have even set up their businesses at these illegally constructed houses adding to the power bills.
The medical college authorities are in a fix. Neither can they lawfully claim the payment of electricity dues from them nor can the authorities order for demolishing the illegally constructed hutments. According to a rough estimate there are about 250 such hutments on the college campus, 300 hutments in LLR Hospital and over 30 hutments at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH).
Occupants of the hutments continue to enjoy free power supply and tax-free houses.
Many of these illegally constructed hutments have been sold twice or thrice to the persons offering “pagari” (security deposit) to the last owners of the hutments. But the college has not got a single paisa from such transactions.
Instead it has to face problems from the encroachers and nuisance creators.
College principal Dr SK Katiyar feels that there can be no solution to the problem of encroachment without the support of the members of the employees associations. He said it was not the responsibility of the college to rehabilitate the encroachers, as it did not have the powers to allot alternative sites to the encroachers for evicting them from the college land. The problem of their rehabilitation could be solved in consultation with the officials of KMC.
On the other hand, members of the employees association have asked the principal not to demolish the illegal residential structures until an alternative arrangement was not made to rehabilitate the occupants. Meanwhile, the college has been making efforts to clear the power dues to avoid power disconnection.