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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Aarti at Har-ki-Pauri conducted amid outages, din of generators

The daily Ganga Aarti at the world famous Har-ki-Pauri here was conducted amid the annoying din of generators on Tuesday night.
As an action against Haridwar Municipal Corporation allegedly delaying payment of electricity bills to the tune of `72 lakh, the Power Department had on Tuesday evening disconnected electricity supply in the holy place, which bustles with activity in the evening.
The issue soon gained momentum with Shri Ganga Sabha authorities raising the matter before higher ups in the Power Department and State politics. Later, based on an assurance by the State Power department in Dehradun that the pending bills will be paid soon, the electricity supply to Har-Ki-Pauri was resumed on Wednesday evening.
Incidentally, this was the first time when power supply to Har-Ki-Pauri was cut by officials of the Power Department. Though trustees of Shri Ganga Sabha had arranged for generators as an alternative source of power, they did not work properly and kept causing disturbance in the evening prayers.
Executive engineer in the Haridwar Electricity Distribution department, Rakesh Kumar said that there are three electricity connections in the name of Haridwar Municipal Corporation in Har-Ki-Pauri area. “The corporation has been served several notices and reminders in connection to the pending electricity bills, but authorities have failed to pay the dues pending on them. The electricity connection to Har-Ki-Pauri was disconnected on Tuesday evening with a hope to recover pending dues from the corporation soon,” Kumar added.
The action taken by the Power Department has now become a matter of debate for people, who think that the department has hurt religious sentiments of many. President of Shri Ganga Sabha, Ashok Tripathi criticised the ‘extreme’ step taken by the Power department. “Har-Ki-Pauri is a public place and remains open to people 24X7. Lakhs of people congregate here daily and Ganga Aarti is a must see ritual done daily. The administration should intervene in the matter and resolve the issue permanently. Though alternative arrangements for power supply can be made, they cause inconvenience to people because of space constrain at Har-Ki-Pauri,” Tripathi said.
Meanwhile Kumar added that they have been assured that the corporation will be made to pay the pending electricity bills as soon as possible. The department has also been assured of intervention by the Government in the matter, if required.

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