After the villagers of Navasari’s Bartad in Gujarat failed to pay their bills which ranged between Rs 30,000 and Rs 90,000, their electricity connection was snapped by the Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Limited (DGVCL), reported ANI. The report also suggested that the people of the village received the electricity bills after 10 years that varied between Rs 30,000 to Rs 90,000. While the Times of India reported that at least 20 families in the village were given free electricity connections under Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidutikaran Yojna (RGGVY), ten years ago. Under the scheme, these villagers were supposed to receive bills for these years together. But it was last year when the shock recoiled and they received bills in thousands.
Among many dumbstruck villagers, TOI reported, there was a tribal man Shankar Patel of the same village who got the shock of his life last year when he received an electricity bill of Rs 89,554.98. He was quoted as saying that he and other villagers received bills for thousands of rupees from DGVCL previous year, which certainly they couldn’t think of paying in the lifetime. He added that they requested for some concession from the officials of DGVCL. However, DGVCL disconnected the electricity connection, which eventually left the people to live in dark for a year now.
Meanwhile, a DGVCL official from Navsari division was quoted as saying that they prepared six instalments for the villagers to pay the bill. Adding to his statement he told, however, the villagers said they can’t pay the bill.
RGGVY was implemented in the year 2005 in all the states of the country mostly to provide benefits to households below the poverty line (BPL) through a free connection but chargeable consumption of power.