TURA, March 12: The District Transport Office has remained shut for close to a week in the town in West Garo Hills (WGH) district allegedly over pending electricity bills of close to Rs 16 lakhs. The electricity bills, according to sources have been pending over decades leading to the MeECL finally disconnecting the lines last month.
The matter came to light on Monday morning after one resident of the town went to the office for some work on his driving license and found the office open though empty. Upon asking the people there, he was informed that official work was not being done as there was no electricity in the office. The office however has remained open.
“They only have a small generator which can power just a few lines. The server cannot be started up at all which means that no work can be done. The same has led to a lot of inconvenience to the people and we want to know as to when the office can resume normal duties,” said the resident on condition of anonymity.
The transport department, though under the state government, is one of those departments whose complete revenue goes to the various autonomous councils in the state leaving the question of responsibility of maintenance under a cloud.
An insider to the transport department stated that there was hardly any money provided for maintenance provided by either the state or the GHADC.
“The Tura office gets a very small amount per quarter and that is not even enough to pay for the amount of paper used. This has led to a lot of pending bills, most of which remain unpaid,” said the source.
Residents have already begun to complain over the closure of the office with many questioning as to how such an important office can remain neglected this way.
“This is highly irregular and needs to be questioned as to how things have been allowed to go out of hand over decades. The office needs to be opened immediately as it is not only important but a necessity. Why were these things allowed to happen,” asked a resident of Tura, Avinash M Marak.
The Deputy Commissioner of WGH, Ram Singh, upon being informed on the matter stated that after a talk with the DTO, a generator was being arranged to ensure work would resume normally from Tuesday. He further confirmed that the disconnection of the line was due to non-payment of bills.