Ashwani Kumar | HEADLINES TODAY | Jammu, December 13, 2013
Despite running a sustained campaign against the power defaulters across the state, the Power Development Department seems to have failed to convince the leaders of the ruling party, their close relatives and big industrial houses to deposit their power dues in time. Besides large number of central government departments and central forces also figure in the long list of power defaulters.
According to the latest disconnection notice issued by the Power Development Department, the National Conference headquarters 'Nawai Subah' is among the 148 power consumers who have been put on a two-week notice for defaulting payments of over Rs.10 lakh.
The 'Nawai Subah' in Srinagar run by ruling national conference party owes Rs.11.49 lakh to the Power Development Department. Official sources said that of the Rs.59 crore owed to the department, BSNL, NHPC, BSF, JKTDC, Royal Spring Golf Course, MES are among the major defaulters with power arrears mounting over Rs.10 lakh each.
"Two week's disconnection notice is hereby issued to the defaulting consumers having past arrears to Rs.10 lakh and above as on October 30," a notification issued by Power Development Department said.
"The supply shall not be reconnected unless the consumer deposits the past dues. After the consumer deposits arrear dues, the installation shall be re-connected within two days as per the rules," it said.
Top state business houses and hotels like Hotel 17 Miles, Jehlum Resort, Airtel, Hari Niwas Palace, and Batra hospital and Sheraz Cinema are among other major defaulters. Simula Software Systems, a company owned by the son of a finance minister AR Rather also figure in the list of power defaulters.
Renuka Food Industry in Jammu tops the list with Rs.12 crore arrears followed by S L Rubber Industry (Samba) with Rs.3.86 crore, J&K Pulp and Paper Pvt Ltd (Samba) Rs.2.01 crore, K P Paper mills (Samba) Rs.1.73 crore and Tramboo joinery owned by Tramboo family of Kashmir Rs.1.01 crore.
The total outstanding against 120 defaulting consumers in Jammu province is Rs.51.74 crore. The similar outstanding amount against 28 defaulters in Kashmir is Rs.7.78 crore.
Hari Niwas Palace, formerly the residence of Maharaja Hari Singh, and owned by the family of Congress MP Dr Karan Singh and his son and NC legislator Ajatshatru Singh, which has been converted to a heritage hotel, owes the department Rs.98.3 lakh.
The Royal Spring Golf Course in Srinagar has over Rs.50 lakh power arrears followed by Hotel Ashoka, owned by ITDC, which owes over Rs.29 lakhs, ASCOMS Hospital (Batra) Rs.31 lakh, and Jhelum resorts, owned by top hotelier Mustaq Chaia, owes over Rs.25 lakh.
BSNL owes Rs.58 lakh in different exchanges followed by BSF with over Rs.10 lakh, NHPC (Railhead Jammu) Rs.17 lakh, Garrison Engineers of MES over Rs.1 crore, state-owned JKTDC Rs.20 lakh and Srinagar Development Authority Rs.14.54 lakh, it said.
Private telecom giant Bharti-Airtel owes Rs.40 lakh while Vodafone had Rs.11.63 lakh arrears, it said. Kranti Hotel, Jammu has an outstanding amount of Rs.36 lakh, Sanson Bakers, Jammu Rs.1.2 crore. Jammu-based businessman Bhim Raj owes Rs.1.2 cr and another Jammu-based businessman Sanjeev Verma owes Rs.59 lakh, sources said.