Govt not pay­ing power bill of Bha­gat Singh’s house

DUES RUN UP TO ₹2 LAKH PSPCL is­sues no­tice to SBS Na­gar ad­min­is­tra­tion for not pay­ing bills of Khatkar Kalan house and me­mo­rial build­ing since De­cem­ber 2016

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - PUNJAB - Jatin­der Ma­hal let­ter­schd@hin­dus­tan­times.com

JALANDHAR: Free­dom fighter and mar­tyr Bha­gat Singh owes Rs 2.3 lakh in power bill to Power State Cor­po­ra­tion Limited (PSPCL). Sur­prised, well don’t be as the util­ity has been is­su­ing bills to the mar­tyr’s house in Khatkar Kalan vil­lage in Sha­heed Bha­gat Singh (SBS) Na­gar dis­trict and to the me­mo­rial park. Of­fi­cially, the bills are is­sued in the name of SBS Na­gar hor­ti­cul­ture de­part­ment. A care­taker RS Ya­dav, 50, stays at the house and main­tains both the properties that share a com­mon wall. The me­mo­rial that is open to vis­i­tors is lit up lead­ing to the bill, Ya­dav says.

The pre­vi­ous Badal gov­ern­ment pur­port­edly set­tled the is­sue of bills for Singh’s properties in 2013. The then chief min­is­ter Parkash Singh Badal an­nounced that the state gov­ern­ment will waive power bills of Singh. The an­nounce­ment, how­ever, was not fol­lowed by a no­ti­fi­ca­tion from the state. This meant that the bills con­tin­ued to is­sued, with the gov­ern­ment clear­ing these on-and-off.

Now, the bills re­main un­paid since De­cem­ber 2016 with the lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion claim­ing that it had not re­ceived any funds from the state gov­ern­ment for main­te­nance of the mar­tyr’s properties.

“The state gov­ern­ment has failed to re­lease any grant for nine months. Thus, we failed to clear the pend­ing bill,” said Banga su­per­in­ten­dent Jatin­der Pal Singh. The properties fall in the Banga sub-di­vi­sion.

SDM UN­AWARE OF BILL WAIVER

Banga SDM Har­cha­ran Singh said the ad­min­is­tra­tion had been pay­ing the bill as and when funds were made avail­able. “I have taken up this mat­ter with the state gov­ern­ment and hope that funds are re­leased soon,” he said. When queried on waiver, he added, “I am not aware of any such no­ti­fi­ca­tion. The de­part­ment re­ceives the bills reg­u­larly.”

A PSPCL of­fi­cial said, “The ad­min­is­tra­tion had paid the bill in two in­stal­ments over the past two years. We have now is­sued sev­eral no­tices to the ad­min­is­tra­tion to clear the pend­ing bill.”

WILL CLEAR BILL SOON: MIN­IS­TER

“There are many gov­ern­ment properties whose power bills are out­stand­ing. The power bill of Bha­gat’s house is pend­ing and the gov­ern­ment will clear it soon,” power and ir­ri­ga­tion min­is­ter Rana Gur­jit Singh said. “The Badals did not is­sue any no­ti­fi­ca­tion in this re­gard,” he added.

ADMN CITES LACK OF FUNDS AND NO FOR­MAL NO­TI­FI­CA­TION OF WAIVER FOR BILLS STILL BE­ING IS­SUED

Mar­tyr Bha­gat Singh’s house at Khatkar Kalan vil­lage in SBS Na­gar (Nawan­shahr) dis­trict. HT PHOTO

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