JAMMU: United Democratic Alliance (UDA) today slammed the Power Development Department for going to launch online portal under titled ‘Name & Shame Campaign’ to recover outstanding dues from the industrialists and commercial establishments.
Addressing media persons here today, Rajiv Mahajan, Convener UDA said that the Amnesty Scheme was announced by the Power Development Department (PDD) in 2019 to curb the power theft and clearance of payment of pending power bills in the erstwhile J&K State.
Mahajan said that pandemic has caused mass disruptions to the nation’s economy, its trade, industry and the lives of citizens. Thousands of industrial units in Jammu region giving direct and indirect employment to lakhs of people in Jammu region are on the verge of bankruptcy and face closure due to outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic across the globe, he said, adding that the labourers, farmers, small traders, self employed, taxi transport and auto operators, Rehri and Phari owners have been worst affected and no permanent source of earnings since March 2020.
Mahajan lambasted the callous approach adopted by the government towards the people as well as traders of Jammu region. He said that the poor sections having exhausted all their savings, they are finding it hard to make both ends meet while at the same time having to pay various kinds of cesses and tariffs.
Mahajan said that government has announced to launch ‘name & shame campaign’ to recover outstanding dues but first of all the government should itself clear the pending liabilities of suppliers and contractors who are decrying for clearance of pending liabilities since long. Instead of imposing penalties to people, the government why should not giving interest over the payments of suppliers and contractors whose bills are not settled due to lackadaisical attitude of the officers sitting at the helm of affairs.
Mahajan said the Power Development Department is imposing penalties like foreign countries but on the other hand the Department has miserably failed to provide uninterrupted power supply to the people of Jammu region as well as industrial units. He also mentioned that the Bijli Sahuliyat Application and other online services of PDD was remained unavailable for unspecified period during the corona period in the year 2020 due to which the consumers were unable to pay bills through online mode when the government itself asked people to stay at home. Similarly, the employees of PDD were also Covid positive and unable to collect power bills, he added.
The UDA Convener said instead of imposing penalties to the people, the government should waive off interest and penalties which are more than consumption of electricity and make all possible efforts to improve the power supply and identify the black-sheep in the departing who are the major cause of revenue losses to the Department. He asserted that people of all sections of the society having been economically hit due to the corona pandemic and the government should show compassion and provide special succour particularly to the financially distressed poor and marginalized sections of the society.
The signatories to the statement included Lt Gen. (Retd.) Pradeep Singh Mehta Principal Advisor, Manish Sahni (Former Convener), IG (Retd.) Sudhir Dogra General Secretary, Co- Conveners Col. (Retd.) S.S Pathania, Com. (Retd.) Bhushan Devan, Col. (Retd.) PS Jamwal, Col. J.P Singh, (Retd. DC) Vijay Sharma, (Retd. DC) M. L. Sharma, Er. V.K. Gupta (Retd. SE), R.K Khajuria (Retd. ETO), Varinder Gupta (Retd. Special Secretary), R.C Puri (Retd. K.A.S), Krishan Manhas, Satish Ponshi, Kulbir Singh Slathia, Bharat Bhushan Gupta, Gajan Singh Khajuria, Rajinder Gupta, Rajeev Luthra, Prem Sharma, Vivek Wazir, Rakesh Badyal, Pawan Gupta, Sanjay Jandyal, Varnider Singh Billawria, Yash Khajuria, Jaswinder Singh (Kuku), Dr. Karan Gupta, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Rajinder Gupta (Bittu), Rakesh Slathiya, Sushil Singh Jamwal (Retd. General Manager J K Cement), Shashi Bhushan Sharma (Contractor) and Sheikh Sajjaad Poonchi (Retd. Principal).