Adding further to the woes of the ex-chief ministers who have been asked to vacate their government bungalows by December 16, the Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) has alleged that four of the five ex-CMs have failed to pay cumulative dues of over Rs 59 lakh arising out of the electricity usage at their official accommodation in Dehradun. The Uttarakhand high court had on Monday refused to allow the ex-CMs more time than the two months given by the state government to leave their bungalows.
Sources in the power discom told TOI that the amounts pending came to a cumulative total of Rs 59,51,728. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank is believed to owe Rs 3,18,252 for his Yamuna Colony house as well as Rs 27,34,127 for the accommodation at Circuit House annexe; N D Tiwari, who has been allotted a bungalow in the FRI campus has dues of Rs 13,63,821 while Bhagat Singh Koshyari whose official accommodation is in Cantt Road, has pending bills of Rs 10,79,313. BC Khanduri, who has been given two electricity connections at his bungalow in Yamuna Colony, has balance dues of Rs 4,56, 215.
A UPCL spokesperson said that the pending bills had been calculated from the time the former CMs had demitted their offices but kept occupying the official accommodation. He added that all the ex-CMs had been sent notices and reminders earlier and now, details of their dues have been given to the state government. “We have not given notices directly to the CMs but to the establishment department of the state government. As per the high court order, the state government will be calculating the market rent payable by the ex-CMs and informing the court by November 21. We have asked for the electricity dues to be also added to the rent recoverable from them,” he said.
A close aide of Nishank said that “we will pay whatever legitimate dues are pending.” He added that a “massive amount of Rs 27,34,127 had been wrongly attributed as dues to be paid by Dr Nishank for the Circuit House annexe.” “A number of former chief ministers were using the Circuit House annexe and it is wrong to put the bill in just one ex-CM’s name,” he said.
Meanwhile, commenting on the power corporation’s move to recover the electricity dues from the ex-CMs, social activist Avadhash Kaushal, who had filed the PIL regarding the huge bungalows being occupied by the former CMs years after demitting office, told TOI, “It is a gross misuse of power by the ex-chief ministers that UPCL, which promptly disconnects the common man’s power connection if one fails to pay the bill for even a month, had been so slow in taking up the case of recovery of dues from these politicians.” Mitchell Marner Womens JerseyShare This