Union Minister Harsimart Badal tweeted a list of farmers who have inflated bills.Union Minister Harsimart Badal tweeted a list of farmers who have inflated bills.
Harmail Singh, who belongs to scheduled caste category, lives in a small house in village Kothe Natheana of district Bathinda. He says that his house has two bulbs and a fan and the load is less than a KW. But his power bill is Rs 2.13 lakh.
Iqbal Singh, another villager of SC category, too claims to have load less than a KW but his power bill is Rs 1.06 lakh.
The Punjab government, under a scheme, waives of 200 units of SCs having load less than a KW.
Apart from Harmail and Iqbal, 30 more villagers mostly belonging to BPL and SC category had shown their power bills to Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal when she visited the village Friday morning. Bills were ranging from Rs 2.32 lakhs to Rs 43,000.
The Union Minister also tweeted a list of the power bills from her official handle, Congress govt is breaking Punjabis' backs to fill its coffers. People in Bathinda villages are getting whopping Rs 2.5L power bills@capt_amarinder you can't cover losses caused by your govt's Rs 4,100cr#CoalScam at people's cost. SAD will protect every Punjabi you're trying to rob,” she said in a tweet.
Rajwinder Singh Nehru, sarpanch of the village said,"We gave 32 bills to the Union Minister. Many villagers have not paid power bills for the past many months. Most of them have load less than a KW and they are eligible for free 200 units of power as well per month. In many cases, when first bill came as hefty as Rs 40,000 or even more, they panicked and stopped paying and hence the bill started accumulating. But the question is how come a house with two bulbs and a fan can have such huge bill at first place”.
Harpreet Singh, another villager has a bill worth Rs 1.22 lakh while Harnek Singh's bill is worth Rs 1.11 lakh. Gurmail Singh, Gurcharan Singh and Jasvir Kaur's outstanding bills are Rs 1.04 lakh, Rs 1.03 lakh and 1.02 lakh respectively.
Many of them are from BPL families. Even BPL families are eligible for 200 units free power every month. Meanwhile all the complainants claimed that their load is less than a KW and hence such hefty bills were unjustifiable.
When contacted Baldev Sran, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited(PSPCL), told Indian Express: “As per my knowledge, many villagers have not paid bills for years together. There may be errors in one or two bills. However, I have asked the chief engineer, Bathinda region to send be a detailed report and hence we will act on it accordingly."
Meanwhile Union Minister stated that she has heard about the problem of hefty power bills in many villages.
Later Harsimrat Kaur Badal condemned the Congress government for burdening the ordinary person with unbearable bills after striking “under hand deals” with private thermal plants, which had already led to a loss of Rs 4,100 crore and made the industrial sector unviable in the state.