CRPF camp’s unpaid power dues: One crore thirty four lakh and counting

Bijbehara: The CRPF camp housed at SICOP Industrial Area in Bijbehara owes more than a crore worth of electricity bills to the Power Development Department (PDD).
The disclosure comes at a time when the PDD has been resorting to power curtailments and taking stringent measures to recover any and every pending bill from the general public.
The department however has been unable to retrieve the pending bills from the government forces, particularly this Bijbehara camp, which has not cleared its dues in years now.
A copy of a bill with customer id 0209010013139; customer name “CRPF Camp” and address SICOP, Bijbehara, generated on September 7, 2017, shows a pendency of One Crore Thirty Four Lac Sixty Thousand Twenty Rupees.
Sources in the department told Kashmir Reader that the camp has not cleared dues for many years now, despite repeated reminders from the department.
“It is the domain of the state government actually to retrieve the bills from security forces. We have been updating the concerned authorities on a timely basis about the pendency, but there has been no headway,” a highly-placed PDD source told Kashmir Reader.
He said that the higher officials of the PDD have also time and again intimated the state government regarding such pending bills, which total up to a huge amount.
“It’s not a one-off bill, there are many such bills pending. The clearance of such bills would have been a huge bonus to our overall revenue, which seems to be plunging despite all efforts,” the official said.
The PDD bills intimate the consumer in red ink and bold letters that, “PDD shall disconnect supply without further notice if bill is not paid within valid period”.
The paramilitary forces however clearly seem to enjoy certain privileges when it comes to paying the bills for their electricity connection, which remains intact even after a pendency of more than a crore rupees.
Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, Executive Engineer, Bijbehara, when contacted told Kashmir Reader that he has joined very recently and will have to run through the records to comment on the issue.
“I have joined only a couple of days back. I am afraid I might not be able to provide you the exact details,” Shah said.
A south Kashmir-based CRPF spokesperson, Commandant Suresh Kumar, said that he had no inputs regarding the issue.
“I don’t have any information regarding the matter whatsoever,” Kumar said.