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Inflated bills sent to power consumers in Dadu to cover line losses

Inflated bills sent to power consumers in Dadu to cover line losses

DADU: Officials of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) belonging to the Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco) have sent highly inflated electricity bills this month to domestic and commercial consumers in Dadu city.

In most of the cases, 5,000 additional power units have been charged through detection bills to cover line losses and other damages as the officials concerned are accused of supplying power to influential persons, ice factories and flour mills in exchange for a huge amount of bribe.

Even a day before Eidul Azha (Friday), people in Dadu and its surrounding areas braved loadshedding for 16 hours a day.

Talking to Dawn, an affected shop keeper at Shahi Bazar, Farooq Ahmed, complained that a line superintendent of sub division Dadu, Mujeeb Ahmed Qureshi, was involved in giving illegal connections to the houses of influential persons, ice factories, flour mills, hotels and shopping centres after receiving bribe every month. And to cover the line losses, the sub division had charged 5,000 units extra through inflated and detection bills in this current month which was not affordable to consumers.

Another affected citizen, Mohammad Suleman, said all people were paying their bills every month and when they refused to pay bribe to Mr Qureshi to start run their illegal connections, he had issued them inflated bills. When the affected citizens approached senior officials of Sepco at Dadu, they were detained and forced to pay inflated and heavy detection bills.

Another affected citizen, Adam Khan, at Buth Mohalla of the city alleged that Sepco officials were demanding 50 per cent payment in cash of the bill as bribe for correction of the inflated and detection bills.

If they refused to pay 50 per cent amount, their power supply was disconnected and they were arrested in most cases. He said the officials concerned were compelling consumers to run illegal connections of power.

People have appealed to the NAB chairman and the FIA DG to arrest the officials involved in this corruption.

When contacted, Wapda Sepco Dadu Executive Engineer Muzaffar Khuhawar said he had powers to correct only total Rs500,000 bills in a month of the division and the current defaulted amount of the division stood at Rs320 million.

He said his office was not involved in receiving of bribe from consumers for correcting their bill. If any official was demanding bribe, he should be exposed and he would be terminated from service.

Meanwhile, tailor masters have complained that additional load shedding had affected their business and they could not complete 50 work of sewing.

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2015

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