Anantnag: In a bizarre move, the Power Development Department (PDD) here in Anantnag has been attaching “threatening” leaflets along with the monthly power bills, asking consumers to pay the bills within two days, failing which their power connections will be snapped.
The leaflets, in Urdu and stapled to the bill, have been received by almost all the consumers in main town Anantnag. The printed leaflets have the handwritten name of the consumer and read, “As soon as you get this notice, please pay your bill within two days, online or at your nearest bank branch. Your connection will be snapped in case you fail to comply.”
It further reads that consumers should contact the PDD officials in case they have any queries.
The move is bizarre for the simple reason that the due date of the bill is scheduled almost 15 days after the bill is generated. People in Anantnag told Kashmir Reader that the PDD diktat was leaving them worried.
“The bill I received was generated on September 9 and was delivered to me today (September 16). It has a due date of September 27,” a consumer from Nai Basti area of main town Anantnag told Kashmir Reader, “What is this nonsense then, why are they harassing their consumers? Why am I supposed to pay a bill in two days when the due date is in two weeks?”
Other consumers Kashmir Reader talked to also called the notice a form of harassment. “My last balance is zero and still I get the bill,” one of the consumers told Kashmir Reader.
Business establishments, including people who have previous pending bills, in the town are particularly upset with the notice, for the simple reason that their businesses have been shut through most of the last two years.
“We are trying to make ends meet. God knows how amid this difficult time they can issue a diktat like this. It is not that we don’t pay our bills but then they should understand how pathetic the situation has been,” a shopkeeper from Lal Chowk area of the town said.
The consumers questioned PDD’s inability to recover pending bills from government offices and establishments of government forces. “We all know how each camp of forces owes lakhs of rupees to the PDD. They can never recover that money and all they are capable of is threatening helpless locals,” people said.
Kashmir Reader talked to Azhar Abbas, the in-charge Executive Engineer for Anantnag, who said that the notice was for people who have large amounts pending in electricity bills.
“It is definitely not for the current bill,” Abbas said.
However, the notice does not mention previous pending bills.