SYLHET, Sept 19: Over Tk 1.75 billion has long been lying unpaid in arrear electricity bill for long in Sylhet Division. The amount includes about Tk 350 million with the different government offices and departments under different ministries.
Although it was over Tk 1.66 billion at the end of fiscal year on June 30 last, the amount rose to Tk 1.75 billion by now, the official sources informed.
The PDB, even on repeated attempts failed to realise the long standing arrears, especially lying with the government departments. They held meetings in different times and requested for clearing the dues several times. There had been no response over the payment, sources informed, adding, but, for reasons the PDB couldn't proceed much for disconnecting the lines.
Talking to this correspondent chief engineer of PDB, Sylhet zone, Ratan Kumar Biswas said many of the government departments don't pay the electricity bill just out of negligence although they get annual budget for the purpose. "But, we can't disconnect their connections as they are public organisations", he said, adding, "Whereas we can sue the private subscribers for the arrears."
However, acute shortage of meter readers is also a problem, the official said, there is only five meter readers in the zone. Although a reader is authorised for covering 1250 subscribers every month, but they have to do the job for more and more, the official said.
There are over 315,000 subscribers in the four districts of the zone, having a total demand of 400 mw electricity where as the power generation from the power stations in the region is 800 mw.
The major defaulters among government departments under the ministry wise arrears include, Roads & Highways, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Public Administration, LGRD, Post and Telecommunications, Religious Affairs, Education, Home Affairs, Secondary and Higher Education and Primary and Mass Education.
'We have continued our efforts for getting the arrear bill for consumed electricity', the senior official further said.