Kathmandu, Jan 14: Nepal's former King Gyanendra Shah has not paid his electricity dues for more than a decade amounting to USD 70,000 including fines, according to authorities.
The state-owned Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) said that the last King of Nepal has not paid electricity bill of Nagarjun Palace, his private property for ten years and six months.
The bill comes around Rs 7 million equivalent to USD 70,000 including late fines. Gyanendra, who vacated the Narayan Hiti Royal Palace here in 2008, has been living in Nagarjuna Palace, a royal property situated 10 km north of Kathmandu.
He has not been paying the electricity dues for the Nagarjuna Palace which he has been occupying since he left the Narayan Hiti royal palace, for ten years and seven months.
According to assistant director of NEA Mukunda Man Chitrakar, the staff at Nagarjuna Palace have refused to accept any letter sent by NEA raising the issue of unpaid electricity dues dues.
After the staff refused to receive NEA's letters, the electricity authority knocked the doors of Nirmal Niwas, another residence of Gyanendra in Kathmandu, where he used to live until the mysterious royal massacre in Nepal in 2001.
Sagar Raj Timilsina, Gyanendra's personal secretary told the NEA officials that the liability comes under the Prime Minister's Office and not the Nagarjuna Palace.
Until 2008, the PMO used to pay all the bills and tariffs incurred to the palaces belonging to the royals. As per the Electricity Act, if an ordinary consumer fails to pay electricity bills for two months, his/her power connection will be cut and if any consumer continuously fails to pay bills for another six month, a ban will be placed on sale of his/her private properties for the next three generations.
However, no such action has been taken against the former King.
"Instead of taking action against him, we decided to collect the tariff, if possible," he said.
After the staff at duty at the the Nagarjuna Palace told NEA officials that the government is responsible for paying the bill, the NEA will take next step by knocking the door of the Prime Minister's office, said Chitrakar.
The NEA has run up a loss of Rs 7 million in the last 10 years and seven months.