People in a remote village in Kanpur district are facing a travesty which is so ridiculous that they don't know whether to laugh or cry. Residents of this village have got electricity bills of about Rs 20,000 each. At first mention, this might seem to be another routine case of inflated bills, but for the fact that the village has no electricity!
The villagers of Naya Purwa village in Kanpur recently got the electricity bills which sent them into a tizzy since they have never even seen an electric bulb in their village.
"Our village doesn't even have a single electricity pole, leave alone electricity," says the "gram pradhan" (village headman) Shyamji. "The electricity department officers are harassing us for the payment of bills, and have even threatened to attach our property if we fail to pay the bills in time," he says.
Ludicrous as it might seem, the local electricity department officials still have the temerity to justify their actions. "If they have got the bills, they must have consumed electricity," says Naresh Singh, SDO of the UP Power Corporation posted at the area's main electricity office in Bilhaur. Asked if he had bothered to verified whether any electricity connections had been given in the village, he said he didn't need to as there were meter readers for that.
TV footage aired by the popular 'Zee Sangam' news channel clearly showed that there were no electricity poles or connecting wires in the village. Vignettes of children struggling to study in the dim light of kerosene lamps, were enough evidence to expose the departmental officials' façade.
The Naya Purwa village headman regrets the day when he had promised the villagers electricity connections during the panchayat election in 2009.
"I had got the forms filled by the villagers desirous of an electricity connection. But, despite my best efforts, no departmental official even bothered to visit our village, and now they have slapped these bills on us," Shyamji laments.
Now the villagers, who have never seen an electric bulb light up in their village, stare blankly at their electricity bills all of which are around Rs 20,000. Their future seems to be rather dark in more ways than one.
Source - DNA