Srinagar, Aug 24: Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) continues to enjoy uninterrupted electricity despite owing crores of rupees to the Power Development Department (PDD) in Kashmir.
On Saturday, the electricity bill of “181 BN CRPF camp” at Kakawring Charar-e-Sharief became viral on social media. The unit has outstanding arrears worth over Rs 1.51 crore. Officials said the unit has not paid electricity bills for the last 10 years.
“This bill pertains to CRPF Company stationed at a Radar station in Budgam. They have last paid their dues in 2010,” a PDD official said.
Public Relation Officer, CRPF, Pankaj Singh told The Kashmir Monitor that all the basic amenities of CRPF including accommodation, water charges and electricity tariffs have to be borne by the local police.
“J&K police are responsible for the payment of the electricity bills. You need to enquire from the local police for the pending bill of CRPF,” he said.d
Chief Engineer, PDD, Aijaz Ahmad Dar told The Kashmir Monitor that six years ago, CRPF used to pay bills on their own. “The central government says CRPF is here for the security and the government will have to pay their bills,” he said.
Dar said due to security reasons they cannot disconnect their power supply. “However, their bills are being sent to SSP Budgam. SSP has to make the payment on behalf of the CRPF. Subsequently, SSP has forwarded it to the IGP Kashmir. We are consolidating the pending bills of security forces. We are taking up with the government for clearing the outstanding amount,” he said.
Inspector-General of Police, Kashmir Zone, Vijay Kumar did not respond to repeated calls from The Kashmir Monitor.
Each year, the PDD prepares the list of chronic defaulters. It, however, fails to take any action against them. Last year, PDD released a list of defaulters which included prominent politicians, high-class businessmen, bureaucrats, telecom firms, security installations, well-known industrialists, and government offices.