Damak, August 21:

Residents of Korobari, Mahabhara, Panchgachhi and Shivgunj VDCs of Jhapa district have been forced to pay fines to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), as the Maoists are preventing the NEA staffers from reading meters.

“The Maoists have been preventing the NEA staffers from reading meters since April this year and we have been forced to pay fine,” a local of Mahabhara VDC, Raju Khewa, said. The NEA has a provision to take 25 per cent fine if tarrifs are paid 45 days after the allotted deadline.

“We are not getting bills, as the NEA staffers have not come to read our electricity meters, compelling us to pay fines,” chairperson of the Mahabhara Electricity Consumers’ Committee, Khem Kumar Poudel, said. “We have waived fines of the bills before the Comprehensive Peace Accord; however, we cannot waive the fines after that,” acting chief of Damak NEA Binod Chaudhari said.