Jammu, Mar 12: Jammu Power Distribution Corporation Limited (JPDCL) disconnected electricity connections of 1156 consumers, including one former Chief Minister and ex-MLAs, for non-payment of dues, in its fresh drive against defaulters.
Former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, J&K BJP president Ravinder Raina and ex BJP MLA Neelam Langeh were among around 50 influential defaulters, with dues running in lakhs pending for payment, whose electricity connections were disconnected in JPDCL’s drive launched on Friday.
Besides, 250-300 electricity connections of PDD defaulters in Valmiki Colony were also disconnected on Friday.
However, in case of Azad, confusion erupted on the account as to whether his pending arrears amounting Rs 4 lakhs (or a part of it) were to be paid by the Estate Department.
Given this confusion, JPDCL restored power there for the time being and subsequent action would be taken after clearing the confusion and verifying records and other documents. In this connection, a meeting has been scheduled on Monday.
Similarly JPDCL would check documents and verify details related to Raina and Langeh as they claimed that the majority part of their pending dues was to be paid by the previous occupants of the Estate accommodation.
“Following the intervention of Mayor Jammu Municipal Corporation and the PDD Commissioner Secretary, power connections were restored in the Valmiki Colony also after the residents gave in writing, assuring to clear their dues,” the JPDCL officials informed.
“As per the instructions from the higher officials, after clearing the confusion, we will get all the dues,” PDD Executive Engineer Rajesh Sharma, while speaking to Greater Kashmir, said.
Meanwhile, JPDCL in its official statement said that taking cognizance of poor revenue realization despite providing a reliable power supply amid harsh winters, various Sub Divisions of JPDCL launched a fresh massive disconnection drive vis-a-vis influential and chronic defaulters.
“In the first place, connections of 1156 consumers including influential persons (former ministers, ex MLAs) were disconnected to sensitize the masses to clear their liabilities on account of electricity bills and develop habits of paying electricity bills in time,” it added.
“Presently, JPDCL is overburdened with huge arrears on account of domestic electricity dues of around Rs 900 Cr, however under the Amnesty Scheme, JPDCL has collected more than Rs 70 Cr and more than fifty thousand consumers have taken benefit of the amnesty scheme. The disconnection drive is being carried out against those household defaulters who are yet to take the benefit of the amnesty scheme, commercial establishments and defaulting industries,” it said.