Dark nights ahead for King Gyanendra

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Kathmandu, Oct 23: The Nepal Electricity Authority is all set to stop power supply to palaces and residences of former king Gyanendra and his relatives if they fail to pay the pending electricity bill in the next 15 days.

The unpaid electricity bills by the former king and his relatives amount to a whopping Rs 77.7 million in total, Kantipur today quoted officials as saying. This includes a fine amount of 12.5 million rupees. The former King and his relatives have not paid the bill since Parliament cut his power after the popular movement againt his autocratic rule in 2006.

The NEA has instructed various distribution sections and centres under the Authority's customer service department to implement the decision, it said quoting an unnamed official as saying.

NEA Executive Director Arjun Kumar Karki took the decision on October 17 after the former king Gyanendra and his relatives did not listen the continuous requests by the government run electricity authority of Nepal.

Last year, prior to declaring the country a republic by abolishing monarchy in May, the NEA corresponded to the palace urging it to pay the dues. However, the royals paid no heed to the request, it is said.

In the two-point decision taken by Mr Karki, NEA's concerned sections have been instructed to recover the money within 15 days or to cut electricity, and to return the generators provided to the palaces by the NEA.

The Authority earlier made arrangement of generators to ensure round the clock power supply to the palaces.

The NEA wrote to former princesses Shova, Dilasa, Sitashma, Helen, Bharati, Pooja, Jyotsana Devi Basnet, and to late former Queen grandmother Ishwori Rajyalaxmi, to pay the dues, the paper said.

Besides them, the NEA had also sent similar letters to the Comptroller Department, Chhauni Bangla, Nirmal Niwas, Nagarjun Royal Forest, Narayanhiti Kharcha Adda, Himagriha Pokhara, Ratna Mandir in Pokhara, Diyalo Bangla in Bharatpur, and Rani Durbar in Hetauda, among others.

Monarchy was abolished in the Himalayan nation in May by the Constituent Assembly.


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