Non-payment of bills: Power supply to many sewa kendras in Muktsar, Fazilka disconnected
Due to non-payment of bills, the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) has disconnected power supply to several sewa kendras in Muktsar and Fazilka.
HT toured various villages in these districts and found that power supply to many sewa kendras has been severed and the operators were doing their work with the help of a generator.
Sewa kendras offer 67 different services such as renewal of driving licence, payments of bills and issuance of various certificates on very nominal charges.
When contacted, Muktsar additional district magistrate (ADM) Sukhchain Singh said, “In Muktsar district, power supply to 13 sewa kendras has been suspended. We are managing work by using generators.”
Fazilka district magistrate (DM) Jaspal Singh said, “In Fazilka, power supply to 7 sewa kendras has been disconnected and work is executed by using generators.”
He said, “Sewa kendras in cities are generating enough revenue to clear all the expenses while in villages few customers visit these centres, thus resulting in less revenue.”
Earlier in January this year, the state government had announced to shut 500 sewa kendras, which will affect more than 3,500 employees in the state.
Some operators working in sewa kendras, on the condition of anonymity, revealed that they have not been getting salaries for a long time.
“We get a meagre salary of Rs 8,500, which too has been pending for a long time. It is very difficult to manage without salary. We are forced to take loans,” said an operator employed with a sewa kendra in Muktsar.
Balraj Singh, a resident of Warring village in Muktsar, said sewa kendras are boon for the people. “Earlier, we had to go to the city for getting any kind of certificate, but now we can get it all in our village. I need not depend upon my sons to take me to the city.”