Ex-royals keen to clear power bills

Kathmandu, November 3:

Relatives of ex-king Gyanendra are willing to pay electricity bills, according to sources at the Nepal Electricity Authority.

Some days ago, the NEA had issued a notice, asking the relatives to pay the dues or face power cut.

Baburam Bhattarai, accounts chief at the NEA’s central region north sector office, said ex-princess Shova had written a letter requesting the NEA to allow her to pay the dues in installments. Bhattarai said his office had also issued the 15-day notice to ex-princesses Shitasmha and Dilasha. “Like commoners, the ex-royals have agreed to pay their dues. This is a positive development,” said Tika Ram BC, director at the finance department of the NEA. The director said the ex-royals had yet to pay Rs 12 million to the NEA.

“The erstwhile Narayanhiti Palace has a due of Rs 45 million in its name. We do not know who will pay the due.” “We had written to the government regarding the recovery of dues of the Narayanhiti Palace. The government has told us to act as per the existing provision,” BC added.

A relative of ex-king Gyanendra paid Rs 30 lakh to the NEA in the past one-and-a-half months,

NEA sources said.

“It is not wise to make speculations about how the ex-royals will respond and what action the NEA will take to recover the dues,” Dipak P Upadhyaya, general manager at the Distribution and Consumer Services of the NEA, said, hinting that the NEA would wait and watch.