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
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