100 BPL families in Jharkhand get power bills sans connection

  • Subhash Mishra, Hindustan Times, Pandra village, Dhanbad
  • Updated: Oct 14, 2015 15:50 IST
Power shortages and blackouts continue to plague India's major cities and undermine the confidence of investors and foreign companies operating in India. (File photo)

Beware! The Jharkhand Urja Vikash Nigam Limited (JUVNL) can send you bills with arrears even if you have no power connection.

This is what happened with BPL card holder Shibu Dibar, who has been waiting for a power connection since 2011. But, he received a shock of his life in September last week when he got Rs 4057 power bill with four years arrear from the Jharkhand Urja Vikash Nigam Limited (JUVNL).

Roy is not alone who got power shock from the JUVNL. There are about 123 BPL families in Pandra village of Dhanbad who have received bills with a rider pay immediately or power supply will be disconnected.

“We had been doing the round of JUVNL block level office since 2011 for a power connection but the officials had only been making false promises to us. In September we shocked to receive bills with four years arrears,” Panchayat samiti member Robin Dhibar said.

The company hasn’t even followed the government guidelines for a BPL power consumer, which says a family can only pay Rs 47 per month against power tariff. But, the JUVNL has sent bills of Rs 4057 to all 123 BPL families of village, he said.

However, the villagers allege a foul play on part of the JUVNL officials who had reportedly slapped a power theft case on Babloo Roy and then a power bill.

However, officials said blamed a private contractor responsible for ensuring power connection who allegedly marked all these connections restored on paper since 2011 and the department sent the bills accordingly.

JUVNL general manager (officiating) of Dhanbad said that an executive engineer (EE) of the department had been assigned to look into matter. “It is a serious issue so I have sought a detailed report from the EE,” he said. Executive engineer Haldhar Prasad Barnbal said that he held a meeting on October 1 with the affected villagers and asked them to give an application in this regard.”But, even after 13 days, no application from any villager has been received so far. I had even told them to give a joint application, but that too has not happened,” he said.

However, the villagers said the JUVNL official had taken 15 days time to file the application. They threatened to launch a fast-unto death at Nirsa block office and boycott panchayat election if no corrective steps were taken.

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