8,609 defaulters, including the Games Organising Committee, owe Rs 48 crore in power and water usage charges to NDMC. Supreme Court and High Court lawyers and several embassy officials also on the list
The question is, with Suresh Kalmadi and his deputy Lalit Bhanot lodged in Tihar Jail, who's going to pay the bills? Commonwealth Games 2010 may be long over, but the Organising Committee (OC) still owes the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) about Rs 10 lakh in electricity and water bills. This has been revealed in a reply to an RTI plea. In all there are 8,609 defaulters, who owe Rs 48 crore in power and water usage charges to the civic agency. Organisations like AIIMS and DMRC, several prominent Supreme Court and High Court lawyers and many embassy officials are also on the list.
Let there be light Fireworks during the opening ceremony of
Commonwealth Games 2010. file pic
"We have paid the entire amount due. We have paid Rs 4,62,360 for the month of May and June. As per our records, we have to pay only arrears of Rs 58,981, which is because of a small dispute. NDMC is asking us to pay the amount for that period, during which we had already vacated the place. But, that will also be sorted out soon," said Jarnail Singh, CEO, Organising Committee, Commonwealth Games (CWG). "That building belongs to the OC and they are solely responsible for its maintenance and billing. I am not at all concerned with this matter," said BJP leader VK Malhotra, who was the vice-chairman of OC at the time of the Games.
Tall order: The office of New Delhi Municipal Council in the Capital. file pic
According to the list, the Director General of ARCHOL owes Rs 1 crore 63 lakh to the department. There are six people or institutions, which have to pay more than 1 crore to the civic agency. The amount due for AIIMS is under the name of its director, which is Rs 86 lakh. According to AIIMS officials, there has been a long standing dispute between the institute and NDMC.
All's not well
"There is a tussle going on between the department and the institute. A proposal for the construction of new hostels has also not been passed yet by them. So no doubt, they have not cleared their arrears," said an administrative official on the condition of anonymity. "I have to check in my records, which will take some time. Then only, I will be able to tell you," said Anuj Dayal, official spokesperson, DMRC.
The other prominent names include Turkish and Belgium embassies, which have to pay Rs 69 lakh each, high commission of Nigeria with Rs 91,000 and Ambassador of Italy has to pay Rs 91 lakh to the department. It also has names of senior lawyers like Ram Jethmalani (who owes a little over Rs 800). Surprisingly, the list does not have the names of any prominent politician. In fact, it comprises many lawyers from Delhi High Court and Patiala House.
Action to be taken
"If the premises do not fall under any disputed property clause, then notices would be served to them. We have a separate set of procedures for such cases, and if the arrears are not paid by them in time, then sadly we have to go for disconnection of the services. As far as I remember, connections at many of the chambers in Delhi High Court and Patiala House have been disconnected earlier also," said Anand Tiwari, official spokesperson, NDMC. When MiD DAY tried to get a response from Ram Jethmalani, he was not available. In spite of leaving a message and details about the story to his personal assistant, he did not respond.
Who's at fault?
Names of some prominent defaulters:
>> Director, education, NDMC, Navyug School, Laxmibai Nagar- Rs 1,77,736.76
>> The Registrar, Delhi High Court- Rs 19,60,155.40
>> Deputy Commissioner of Police, police station, Tilak Marg- Rs 16,76,050
>> Director, AIIMS- Rs 8,66,803.51
>> Delhi Metro Rail Corporation- Rs 3,79,648.53
>> Turkish Embassy- Rs 6,95,541.84
>> Belgium Embassy, Shanti Path- Rs 6,95,541.84
>> High Commission of Nigeria- Rs 91,678.41
>> Ambassador of Italy- Rs 91,44,206.17
>> Director, Lady Irwin College- Rs 1,96,272.72
>> Ram Jethmalani- Rs 831.83
>> General Secretary, Organising committee, CWG 2010- Around Rs 10 lakh
>> Total amount due from 8609 defaulters- Rs 48,60,08,682.62
Recently, a list was declared by NDMC and displayed on its website which shows the name of the defaulters who have not paid their property tax till April 1 of this year. Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and Delhi's Hotel Taj Palace were among over 6,800 individuals and institutions listed on the website for default in payment of property tax.