Appu Ghar’s water supply snapped over Rs 7 lakh pending bills
The Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) disconnected the water supply of International Recreation and Amusement Limited (IRAL—popularly known as Appu Ghar in Sector 29) on Monday over non-payment of water bills for three years worth an approximate Rs 7 lakh.
The GMDA also disconnected the water supply of a reputed school and a residential society for non-payment of water bills ranging between Rs 5 and Rs 13 lakh.
Three months ago, the GMDA had identified 50 water bill defaulters, of which owners of 20 connections deposited the pending bills while the others are yet to clear their dues.
“There were 18 defaulters whose water bills ranged between ₹5 lakh and ₹17 lakh. We targeted them on priority to recover revenue. Of the 18, as many as 13 defaulters paid their bills by April 15 as per our deadline. We will disconnect the water supply of the remaining two as well,” Rajesh Bansal, superintending engineer, GMDA, said.
However, the disconnection of the water supply of Appu Ghar (IRAL) came just a day before a scheduled top-level meeting, which was held on Tuesday at Chandigarh regarding an order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which, on March 25, had asked the Haryana chief secretary to stop fresh water supply for commercial purposes to the IRAL.
In September 2017, social activist Harinder Dhingra had moved a petition in the NGT expressing concerns that the Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP—the then master water supplier, which is the GMDA now) had been supplying non-stop canal water to the IRAL to run Oyster, a water park on its premises, while rest of the city reeled under water crisis.
Ravinder Yadav, a social activist, said, “Why did the GMDA’s action (the disconnection of Appu Ghar’s water supply) come just a day ahead of the NGT meeting at Chandigarh? This is eyewash. The disconnection has not affected the Oyster business at Appu Ghar that uses millions of gallons of canal water daily and that is our (and the NGT’s) main concern. The Haryana government will have to file a detailed reply to the NGT with solutions on July 8.”
Dhingra’s petition was disposed of in October 2018, with the NGT constituting a committee, which recommended in February this year that the HSVP/GMDA should disconnect canal water supply to the IRAL.
The IRAL ran into financial trouble in June last year when its 1,200 shop buyers moved the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
“We invested good money in buying shops in the IRAL in 2011-12. The company failed to construct them and we moved the NCLT, which appointed an interim resolution professional (IRP) to resolve the issue. After that, the IRAL’s management was suspended,” a buyer said.
“I have no idea about the disconnection of Appu Ghar’s water supply. I will get it checked,” IRP Pramod Kumar Sharma said.
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