The UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation have decided to waive off Rs 1.85 lakh worth surcharges on electricity and water bills of the Punjab and Haryana HiC and the houses of eight judges in various sectors. These surcharges were imposed due to non-payment of bills between September 15, 2012 to November 15, 2012. Making an exception, a decision has recently been taken for waiver of surcharge for both the bills.
While, both the bills were paid off later, the surcharges were not cleared. While surcharge on electricity bill of the high court building was Rs 1.59 lakh, that on the water bills of the high court building and the judges houses was Rs 25, 350. Like for other government departments, the funds for the high court are allocated in the annual budget of the Administration that is approved by the Centre. The electricity and water bills of the high court building as well as the judges houses is paid through the funds that are allocated.
In case of individuals as well as other government departments, a surcharge of 10 per cent is imposed in case of water bill and 2 per cent per month in case of electricity bills. Even when the pending bills are cleared, the defaulters are required to pay the surcharge. Non-payment can even lead to disconnection of supply. Among the list of defaulters of the water bills are several government departments that have not paid the bills and the amounts are kept pending. Even in these cases, the surcharge is generally not waived off.
Apart from the high court building, the surcharge was imposed on eight residences including seven in Sector 4 and one in Sector 3. Surcharge had been imposed on 27 water bills that were not cleared.
Citing reasons that the budgetary allocation was held up, the high court defaulted on the electricity and water bills of the court building and the judges houses. Court officer Rajinder Thakur said, \"The committee of judges directed the officials that the surcharge should be waived off as it was the fault of the Administration that funds did not reach the high court on time. The bills were also cleared. Apart from bills of these months, there has never been a delay in payment of bills.\"
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