Jail's power dues at shocking level | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Jail's power dues at shocking level

The terrific modern jail here has outstanding electricity bills-Rs 52 lakh.Confusion between the construction company and the government over who will foot the bill for about Rs 25 lakh has put Powercom in an awkward situation. These dues are for the time before the jail was handed over to the regime.

punjab Updated: Aug 18, 2012 23:15 IST

The terrific modern jail here has outstanding electricity bills-Rs 52 lakh.

Confusion between the construction company and the government over who will foot the bill for about Rs 25 lakh has put Powercom in an awkward situation. These dues are for the time before the jail was handed over to the regime.

The electricity connection to the prison is in the name of the jail superintendent in his official capacity. The jail department even hasn't settled any power bill since the infrastructure handover less than a year ago.

Chief minister Prakash singh Badal had inaugurated this jail on the Amritsar road here. It runs and electricity bill for about Rs 4.5 lakh in each cycle.

The Powercom has to collect Rs 52 lakh in all from the jail that holds 1,625 inmates. Omaxe built the jail for Rs 125 crore, and under contract, should have paid the bills for the time before the handover.

"The company's Rs-112-crore tender was raised to Rs 125 crore," said a prison official, requesting anonymity. "The company consumed a lot of electricity for construction as well as lighting."

The jail authorities also have outstanding grocery and vegetable bills for Rs 20 lakh. The supply of wheat, pulses, jaggery and grams is from the headquarters and based on tenders, but the jail officials by small items and vegetables locally.

"Usually, we pay our electricity bills in time, but sometimes, the payment is late," said jail superintendent Tejinder Singh Mour. "This time, the unpaid bills are for the time before the jail's handover to us."

Mour attributed the pending grocery bills to a technical problem. "The bills don't bear the value-added tax (VAT) numbers," he said. "We have asked the suppliers to send us the numbers."
"The total money that the jail has to pay is Rs 52 lakh," said Daljeet Singh, Powercom's executive engineer in Faridkot. "The jail hasn't cleared any bill."

Powercom cannot disconnect the connection to the jail. It needs higher approval.