As per a report published in Amar Ujala, the Yogi government in Uttar Pradesh had cut the electricity in BSP’s guesthouse situated at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg for non-payment of dues. The report has claimed that the electricity bill was also not paid for BSP supremo Mayawati’s Mal Avenue residence. The report has claimed that the total electricity dues of these properties were a whopping Rs 1.68 crores.
In all these dues were spread around three electrical connections, namely one for the residence and two for the BSP guesthouse. For the residence, the dues amounted to Rs 94.41 lakhs and the pending amount for the guesthouse connections was Rs 45.69 lakhs and Rs 27.99 lakhs respectively. Incidentally, when it came to the guesthouse, the dues were never paid from the time the connection was provided.
As a result of the outstanding amount, the Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (LESA) threatened to cut off the electricity supply. LESA came true on its threat and cut-off power supply to the guest house on 23rd March, thereby plunging it into darkness. With the guesthouse continuing to remain “powerless”, Mayawati as per reports finally relented and paid all the outstanding dues on Friday. Following this, the power was restored to the guesthouse that evening.
Ever since coming to power the Yogi government has expressed its seriousness to improve the electricity situation in the state. This includes the government announcing a “24×7 Power for All” initiative to provide round the clock quality, reliable and affordable electricity to customers by 2019.
As per this announcement, all the Below Poverty Line (BPL) cardholders would be given free electricity connections by the Yogi government and poor residents who do not have BPL cards would need to pay a nominal amount of Rs 80 to Rs 120.
The task though might be easier said than done considering, just 32% (92,72,706) out of the total 2,89,46,089 rural households in the state were electrified back in 2017. Another 29% out of the total have received power but haven’t been formalised.
For the remaining 39%, the infrastructure was rolled out for including 50,000 households in the electricity net but it still rendered about 21% or 60 lakh rural households without electricity. When it comes to urban households, about 15 lakh of them were without electricity last year.