THE UT Electricity department has disconnected electricity supply for street lights in several villages of Chandigarh as the civic body was unable to pay bills.
“I have asked the executive engineer concerned to check if the bills were pending before we took over the villages. If not, he has been asked to take necessary action,” said the civic body chief engineer, Shailender.
The villages where electricity for street lights was cut include Dhanas, Sarangpur, Khuda Lahora and Khuda Jassu.
SAD Councillor Hardeep Singh said that development in villages is suffering. “There is absolutely no development. I have been saying this repeatedly that villages should be at par with the urban belt,” he said.
Aam Aadmi Party Chief spokesperson, Nitin Goyal, has written to the Municipal Commissioner KK Yadav saying that it is criminal negligence on part of the officials concerned. “This is not only shocking and embarrassing but also criminal negligence on the part of the concerned officers of the Corporation. These villages were merged into the Municipal Corporation in 2018 with a promise of development. While there has been zero improvement in the condition of roads, sanitation, water supply, parks etc, on the contrary, the condition has only worsened,” he said, adding, “dark spots will add to the agony of these villagers in the coming long nights.”
In the letter, the AAP said that at the time of merger, the Municipal Corporation had also taken over all the assets and properties of the Gram Panchayats of these villages. For example in Dhanas alone, besides other properties, eight commercials shops belonging to the Panchayat were taken over by the Corporation, from which it is now earning a monthly rent of Rs 40,000. Despite this, the civic body has failed to pay the electricity bills of the street lighting for over six months, alleged AAP, adding that the residents deserve to be compensated for this.
AAP has also written to ensure immediate restoration of the street lights of all UT villages by settling the pending bills and initiate a departmental enquiry to fix the responsibility of the officials responsible for non-payment of bills.
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