Jama Masjid power dues puts area in darkness:Residents

The spat between the Imam of Jama Masjid and the Delhi Wakf Board over payment of electricity dues of over Rs 4 crore has once again left residents of the area in darkness.

Written by Geeta Gupta | New Delhi | Published:February 28, 2013 2:20 am

The spat between the Imam of Jama Masjid and the Delhi Wakf Board over payment of electricity dues of over Rs 4 crore has once again left residents of the area in darkness.

Residents said supply to the area is snapped for over three hours each morning as penalty for the mosque’s unpaid dues.

The power distribution company BSES Yamuna (BYPL) has,however,blamed Metro construction in the area for the abrupt power outages.

Saleem Hasan,a 64-year-old resident of Chudiwalan near Jama Masjid,told Newsline that the outages during morning hours each day affected students and office-goers.

“Every morning,there is no electricity for at least three hours. Local officials say power theft is high in this area. That could be possible,but there are other law-abiding citizens who always pay their bills on time. Some of us have been getting inflated bills,which we still pay. With Board exams near,children are really finding it difficult to cope,” Hasan said.

He said the situation gets aggravated as power cuts also affect water supply. “If there is no electricity from 8 am to 11 am,there is no water either. Who gets water without using motors these days? The truth is that there was never any major power supply issue in the area,until the issue of unpaid dues of Jama Masjid came to the fore,” Hasan said.

When contacted,Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the issue of unpaid electricity dues of Jama Masjid was indeed a matter of concern. “But I can assure you there is no power shortage or power cut in the area. Jama Masjid and its vicinity is a much-visited area,and we can’t have blackouts there,” Dikshit said.

“There is no discrepancy on any ground with our consumers of East or Central Delhi. But in areas like Jafrabad,Delhi Gate,Krishna Nagar,etc.,the DMRC is undertaking Metro work. Due to this,at times,our cables and feeders get damaged. However,as soon as these are spotted,they are immediately attended to by our operations and maintenance teams and the supply is restored,” a senior BSES official said.

While the Jama Masjid has run up a power bill of Rs 4.16 crore as the charges have not been paid for the past several years,there is an ongoing spat between the Imam of Jama Masjid,Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari,and Delhi Wakf Board,each holding the other responsible for clearing the dues.

With neither ready to take up responsibility,residents in the vicinity of the mosque said they have been bearing the brunt of regular power cuts since September last year.

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