10 NEA staffers face music for assisting power tariff defaulters

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    KATHMANDU, JAN 02 –

    The management committee of the Nepal Electricity Authority(NEA) on Monday relieved 10 staffers of their assignments for their alleged involvement in assisting tariff defaulters.

    The committee said as most of the staffers were found delaying tariff collection and manipulating electricity meters, they were penalised as per the NEA board’s instruction.

    The NEA staffers facing the action are Kathmandu Regional Office chief Juju Kaji Ranjit; Bhaktapur Distribution Centre chief Raju KC; accounts chief Bashanta Dhungana; assistant engineer Surya Bhakta Shrestha; and supervisors Narayan Sapkota and Dharmendra Raya. Maharajgunj Distribution Centre’s chief Tara Nath Sharma; account chief Narayan Sharma; and engineer Nanda Kishor Mandal also faced the action.

    Last week, NEA Chairman Leela Mani Paudel had instructed the management committee to investigate into the possible collusion of NEA staffers with power tariff defaulters and to take action against them.

    Badri Nath Rokka, deputy managing director of NEA administration, said the staffers were handed over letters on Monday mentioning that they had been relieved of their assignments and they would be assigned some other tasks. “Further investigation will be carried out to ascertain whether the accused were actually involved in the wrongdoing,” he said, adding if the probe finds them innocent, they will be reinstated.

    The NEA management committee had been carrying out rigorous investigation to find out whether the staffers are involved in wrongdoing, and source said.

    During Monday’s board meeting, Paudel also directed the management committee to disconnect electricity lines to those consumers who have pending electricity bills. “Chairman Paudel has ordered to cut off lines to negligent consumers, no matter whoever the consumer is,” said an NEA board member, adding those not clearing power bills within 60 days after the meter reading may face cut-off. “The chairman has asked to take the same action even against governmental offices, hotels and industries.”

    Last week, the NEA board had decided to investigate into the possible non-payment of electricity bills by some of the biggest NEA customers. “Suspecting tariff default, the NEA has presented a list of 100 largest consumers to the board,” said the NEA board member. “While checking their consumption trend, serious discrepancies have been spotted.”

    Source : The Kathmandu Post