Published On : Mon, Nov 20th, 2017

Power Politics : Bawankule pulls up SNDL for letting out names of netas defaulting on electricity bills

Nagpur: Recently Nagpur Today has published a media report which exposed the SNDL’s deliberate attempt to fend the corporators defaulting on electricity bills while the normal consumers are subjected to quick snapping of power on just a month pay default.

Taking account of the report Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule has pulled the senior SNDL officials but what!! It’s not for the reason that SNDL is not taking any action against erring corporators and netas but it reprimanded the franchisee officials for tarnishing the image of BJP members by providing their names to media persons. Most of the defaulters belong to BJP. On the other hand, the government has decided to disconnect defaulting farmers.

SNDL was asked by Bawankule to issue a press release apologizing for the ‘defamation’ of corporators. Though it was Sunday, Bawankule asked seven to eight MSEDCL officials to reach Gaddigodam office and draft a press release for SNDL. They include chief engineer Rafiq Sheikh, superintending engineer Manish Wath, spokespersons Yogesh Vitankar and Ajit Igatpurikar and some other officers. A personal assistant of the minister was present in the office until the press note was drafted.

MSEDCL’s press release, drafted on behalf of SNDL, stated that the franchisee was sorry for defaming the corporators. It was also apologetic for including the names of corporators in defaulters’ list even though electricity meters were not in their name. The press release even claimed that the news items carried by local dailies were factually incorrect.

The lengthy press note was approved by the minister himself. Bawankule wanted MSEDCL to issue the press release officially on behalf of SNDL. However, MSEDCL officials refused to comply and requested the minister to ask SNDL to do it on its own.

SNDL officials objected to the content of the press note. They told MSEDCL that the list had not been provided to the media by the franchisee. They also refused to state that the facts published by newspapers were incorrect.

Earlier, in the afternoon, Bawankule had called a meeting of SNDL officials for discussing the power infrastructure works in the city. Some city MLAs, all of them from BJP, were also present. After this meeting was over, many BJP corporators reached the Bijli Nagar guesthouse of MSEDCL where the meeting was held. These corporators demanded that SNDL should apologize for revealing their names.

Nagpur Central MLA Vikas Kumbhare told the minister that SNDL had not disconnected Congress corporators Bunty Shelke even though he had not paid power bills since years. SNDL should have disconnected Shelke before defaming BJP.

Bawankule asked SNDL officials why they revealed the names of the corporators when they were not among top ten defaulters of a division. MSEDCL issues public notice exposing only the top ten defaulters. SNDL officers denied providing the list of defaulters to media but the minister did not accept the explanation and said that a clarification would have to be issued.

SNDL had lodged a police complaint against BJP activists but Lakadganj police registered it as a non-cognizable offence. A few days ago when MSEDCL employees were beaten up by defaulters cognisable offences had been registered.