By S.T. Ravikumar
Mysore/Mysuru: With the Congress coming to power following its five guarantees, which included free power up to 200 units under Gruha Jyothi Scheme, villagers in some parts of the State are reportedly refusing to pay power bills, even as the Congress is yet to name the new Chief Minister.
A video in which residents of a village in Chitradurga taluk have refused to pay power bills when the BESCom Bill Collector went to the village has gone viral.
In Mysuru, there were reports of some residents in certain areas refusing to pay power bills saying that the new Congress Government has promised free power. These residents are said to be turning away meter readers, when they visit homes for issuing monthly power bills, saying that they won’t pay because of the free power promise.
As another example, the CESC bill payment counters, Consumer Service Centres and KarnatakaOne Centres in the city saw a sharp drop in payment of power bills on Monday, just two days after the announcement of Assembly results.
Sources said that people are turning up in lesser numbers to pay power bills following the free power guarantee. The situation is no different in other Taluk Headquarters of the district, as they too have reported a decline in power bills payment since the announcement of poll results.
The people who are refusing to pay bills are driving away Bill Collectors saying that they would complain to their MLA if they insist on payment. They also claim that they have voted to the Congress in response to the five guarantees announced by the party in its poll manifesto.
Meanwhile, the newly elected Congress MLAs too have come out in support of defaulting residents, saying that the staff of ESComs should wait until the new Government issues an order on the free power that has been promised by the Congress, it is learnt.
The five guarantees promised by the Congress are — Gruha Jyothi, aimed at providing 200 units of free power, monthly allowance to unemployed youth for three years, 10 kgs of free rice to every member of BPL family, free bus travel for women and payment of Rs. 2,000 per month to woman head of every family.