‘Powerless’ Jharkhand village gets a shocker; asked to pay bills or face action

The village neither has transformers nor power connections and people dry their clothes over the wires hung “powerlessly” on some poles on them.

Published: 26th April 2023 07:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th April 2023 07:52 AM   |  A+A-

Electricity bill

For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

RANCHI: The absence of power supply in rural areas can be as shocking as in this Jharkhand village. Over to Dalit village Dumuhaan under Pratap Pur Block in Chatra district. Around 37 households in the village have received electricity bills despite having no power supply since independence! Villagers say they have been asked to pay up immediately or they will have to face the consequences.

The village neither has transformers nor power connections; people dry their clothes over the wires hung “powerlessly” on some poles on them. “We haven’t ever received any electricity. Even then we have received electricity bills ranging between Rs 2,500 and Rs 2,700,” said a villager, Pappu Kumar.

The electricity meter, distributed among the villagers about five years beck with a promise that the supply will reach households within a week or so, is gathering dust,” he said. Marchi Devi, a housewife, informed that the bill given to them was issued on March 17, 2023 and said to be for one-month consumption. “We are still dependent on kerosene lamps,” says Marchi.

“Officials from the electricity department had come around five years back and distributed meters at the Panchayat Bhawan and took our names,” said Marchi. Of the 50-odd households in the village, 37 had taken the meter. They are the ones who have been slapped with the electricity bills, she added. Villagers said some officials from the electricity department visited the village on Tuesday and made an inquiry for the entire day after a formal complaint was made by the villagers.

“The officials too were shocked and promised that the bills will be waived, but were unwilling to tell us any time-frame,” said Lakhwa Devi, another villager. “I don’t know how it happened; I have been posted here recently. I will look into the matter,” said junior engineer Anil Kumar.

Jharkhand is a major source of power supply in the country. It has power units in Bokaro, Jamshedpur, East Singhbhum and Koderma. Together these units produce around 2,800 MW of power. The state has uranium mines which are the only source for nuclear power in the country. Coal beds in the coal mines have indicated the availability of methane gas.


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