Shocked after receiving an electricity theft notice of nearly Rs 2 lakh, a 65- years-old woman from the labour class locality of Malwa Mill area here died of cardiac arrest on Thursday night.
Leela Bai, resident of Patre Ki Chawl at Malwa Mill died at a civic hospital a day after her meeting with the officials of Madhya Pradesh Western Region Power Distribution Company Ltd (as the state electricity board is known here) officials did not provide any relief.
“My mother died due to tension. She had no other medical complications but she was too worried about this heavy bill imposed on us and often used to cry thinking about it,” said Kamla Bai, daughter of the deceased.
Leela Bai had six children and stayed at the Chawl with her eldest son Kailash Karedia, 49. Their regular electricity bill amounted to Rs 500 per month. The amount in the notice issued on August 21, 2010, is nearly Rs 1.80 lakh.
The MPEB officials claim that Kailash ran a factory with electricity operated machines to make tap washers and was guilty of power theft. The theft was going on for the last five years, said the officials.
However, the family members of the deceased contended that those machines were manually operated.We have been running from pillar to post but no one is paying heed to us. Our machines can be checked they are all hand driven,” said Kamla bai.
“My brother has also threatened to commit suicide. How can we pay the bill amount? We are so poor,” she said.
Power Distribution Company chief vigilance officer J Thombre, said, “Our officers had prepared a theft notice and the panchnama on the basis of documents, photographs of the machines and other related evidence collected from their house.” Karedia had taken a three-phase meter in a small tin shed area of 150 square feet. The total load in the house was found to be 6.80 horsepower. eath is unfortunate but the deceased’s son was clearly involved in the electricity theft and hence we had to issue them a notice. The mother and son duo had even met me at my office. I had given them a relief that they pay Rs 27,500 initially but they did not contact me after that,” said Thombre.