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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Ex-Punjab CM Barnala owes Rs. 2 lakh to UT admin

Vinod Kumar, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, March 26, 2013
First Published: 11:32 IST(26/3/2013) | Last Updated: 14:03 IST(26/3/2013)

Former chief minister of Punjab Surjit Singh Barnala owes around Rs. 2 lakh to the UT administration in the form of electricity bill and rent of the Sector-39 accommodation allotted to him.

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Barnala, who had been a former governor of Tamil Nadu, is currently not putting up at the Sector-39 house, but has to pay over Rs. 1.1 lakh to the administration as electricity bill.

The last payment received by the electricity department was on November 18, 2011, confirmed Gurnam Singh, sub-division officer (SDO) of the electricity department. He also stated that the electricity meter installed at the residence was uninstalled on March 22.

However, the outstanding rent reflecting against the name of the veteran leader is around Rs. 70,000.

Gaganjit Singh Barnala, son of Surjit Singh Barnala, said they had vacated the residence around a year ago, but did not receive any notice from the administration regarding outstanding dues. However, he said if there were any outstanding dues, they would get them cleared at the earliest.

Though UT chief engineer SK Chadha claimed that he was not aware of the dues not cleared by Surjit Singh Barnala, stated that they would recover the outstanding amount by following the laid down norms.

UT superintending engineer MP Singh said, “For us everyone is a consumer and irrespective of their statures we take actions as provided in the law.”

The UT electricity department was at the receiving end for the members of joint electricity regulatory commission (JERC), in a recently held public hearing session, after the consumers raised the issue of non-recovery of electricity bills to the tune of crores from the state government departments, including Punjab, Haryana and influential people.

The superintending engineer had informed the JERC chairman that they were yet to recover electricity bills of more than Rs. 11 crore from various states government departments and individuals.

The chairman had directed the superintending engineer to conduct an analysis to identify consumers, whose outstanding dues are more than Rs. 1 lakh, and submit the report in three months.

According to officials, the electricity department has compiled a list of defaulters and will submit it to the JERC soon.

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