Sopore tailor gets hefty electricity bill ‘without consuming power’

SOPORE: An impoverished tailor of Sopore town received the shock of his life on getting an electricity bill amounting to more than one lakh rupees. The tailor-master Mushtaq Ahmad Kema, who ryuns his shop in Hatishah Mohallah claims that he does not consume electricity in his shop nor has he ever entered into an agreement with the department for a power line.
The power department has sent Kema a bill for 1,15, 485 and if he fails to pay in time an additional amount of Rs 2,000 would be levied on the bill. Kema claimed that his wife was shocked on receiving the bill and had to receive medical consultation.
“I don’t know how they have sent me this bill. I don’t have power connection in my shop. I have recently paid my home but how can I pay the bill for my shop when I don’t have a power line functional there”, he said.
Kema said he started receiving the power bills for the past four months. “I contacted the concerned officials to explain to them that I have no power connection but they won’t listen to me”, he said.
He admitted that he is running the tailoring shop for the past 15 years. “Even if an amount of Rs 150 is charged monthly, the bill should not exceed Rs 30,000. How come they can charge me more than one lakh rupees”, he said.
The Mohalla committee of Hatishah has written to Superintending Engineer requesting him to take a sympathetic view over the bill amount in the backdrop of Kema’s large family and limited income resource.
Assistant executive engineer (division II) Mohammad Ashraf Mir said that the bill was justified and the outstanding amount was not exaggerated. “They (consumers) don’t care when the outstanding amount is small but when the bill amount rises, they start making hue and cry.”
He said the department has full details of the energy consumed by the individual in his shop.