Maoists bar NEA from collecting power tariff

Sindhupalchowk, August 16:

Maoists today sent back Nepal Electricity Authority clients from its Chautara sub-branch office where they had gone to pay electricity tariff.

The Maoists have also warned the NEA staff not to collect electricity tariff, an employee said.

The Maoists, who have been demanding waiver of the agriculture loan and electricity tariff, have time and again barred people from paying the electricity tariff and bank loans since they launched armed struggle a decade ago.

“The Nepal Electricity Authority has been barred from collecting power tariff because the office started collecting tariff without consulting us,” Maoists’ No. 2 regional in-charge Subodh said.

He also asked the NEA to waive electricity tariff up to January 2007 and collect only the minimum charge from the duration then onwards.

Head of the NEA’s sub branch Harka Bahadur Shrestha said the office had collected only minimum power tariff of the period from mid-January to mid-August as demanded by the Maoists.

He said the office action was in accordance with the direction of the NEA regional office to collect power tariff for the duration of seven months of 2007 and suspend, for the time being, collecting power tariff of the period earlier than that.

The NEA Chautara sub-branch is yet to collect Rs 7.5 million as power tariff from the duration since the armed insurgency was launched in 196 in the region, he said.