BHOPAL: The lockdown has proved to be a crisis for both of them. On one hand the electricity department is suffering revenue loss and on the other hand, farmers are financially hit as their produce are not fetching appropriate returns.
Amidst this situation, the electricity department seized TV, fridge and bikes of farmers for non-payment of electricity bills in Betul district. In the process, some of the officials went overboard and seized bikes of farmers who didn’t even have electricity connections in their names.
The staff of Amla Rural Electricity Distribution Company that comes under Madhya Kshetra Vidyut Vitran Company Limited (central discom) started a revenue recovery drive in six villages including Badgaon, Brahminwada, Khedli Bazar and Chhipanya.
The farmers from these villages hadn’t paid electricity bills for their irrigation pumps. The drive was against 51 farmers, said the electricity department official. The company officials had given them notice after which the recovery drive started.
The campaign landed into controversy when the recovery officials seized belongings of farmers. Farmer Laxman Yadav said that there was no due against him. “I have no electricity connection in my name. About 20-25 people from electricity department came and took away my bike by force,” said Laxman.
Another farmer from Sikotia panchayat alleged that his village doesn’t have electricity connection. Despite this, electricity department officials took away his bike alleging bill overdues.
Assistant engineer of Amla Deepak Bhusare said in his area there are more than 100 farmers whose bills have exceeded more than Rs 20,000. About 50 farmers have pending electricity bills of more than Rs 50,000. Recovery campaign has been started on directions of government, he added.