Gurdaspur roads have plunged into darkness with no streetlight working in the town for the past 11 days.
Reason: Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) snapped power supply to the Gurdaspur municipal council on February 26 due to non-payment of Rs12-crore bills that accumulated over 15 years.
Taps are also running dry in many parts of the town as power supply to all 15 tubewells was disconnected the same day. After paying Rs 35 lakh of the outstanding amount, the civic body managed to get power restored to five of the tubewells. The remaining 10 are still non-functional.
PSPCL sub-divisional engineer (SDE), Gurdaspur, Amardeep Singh Nagra said on Wednesday that they will permanently disconnect power supply to streetlights in the city if the municipal council fails to pay the pending bill at the earliest.
Assistant municipal engineer Rajesh Sahni admitted bills for power supply to streetlights had not been paid for 15 years. He said the council was cash-strapped and did not have enough resources to pay off the amount.
Streetlights at three chowks in the city that are maintained by Gurdaspur Improvement Trust, meanwhile, became functional a couple of days ago after the trust paid Rs 6.38 lakh of the pending amount to PSPCL. In other areas, the situation remains dismal.
Residents rue the inconvenience. Even motorists and truckers, who pass through the town, are having a tough time at night. Sunakshay Kumar, a local, is worried about miscreants committing crimes in the shroud of darkness. Besides slamming the civic body, the locals also blame PSPCL authorities for allowing the power bills to accumulate.
Sources said Gurdaspur deputy commissioner (DC) Pardeep Kumar Aggarwal has shot off a letter to the MC executive officer, questioning him as to why pending power bills for streetlights and water supply were not paid for years.