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The Patna University (PU) campus is likely to face dark days soon, thanks to the recent move of the electricity board to install prepaid electricity meter in all its colleges and postgraduate departments. Such prepaid meters have already been installed in the PU office and some postgraduate departments, said sources.
The South Bihar Power Distribution Company Ltd (SBPDCL) had earlier disconnected power supply to the PU office as the university had earlier refused to accept its proposal for installing prepaid meters at all points inside the university. The power supply was restored recently when PU allowed the SBPDCL to get the prepaid meters installed at some locations to start with.
It may be mentioned here that even in April this year, power supply to PU was disconnected owing to non-payment of around Rs6 crore dues. However, the power supply was restored in May following the intervention of energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav. PU vice-chancellor Ras Bihari Prasad Singh had earlier urged the minister to use his good offices to restore power supply and also requested the education department to release necessary funds for payment of power dues.
The recent SBPDCL move is aimed at restricting the use of power on the campus. Now, its colleges and postgraduate departments would have to cough out handsome amount well before using power which they are unlikely to do in the absence of the sufficient grants from the government.
PU registrar Rabindra Kumar said the university has provided Rs19 crore in its annual budget for 2017-18 for clearing all its outstanding liabilities, including payment of electricity dues and municipal taxes. He pointed out that the university was facing difficulties in meeting its financial liabilities due to non-receipt of its annual statutory grants from the state government which is around Rs19.32 crore for the last 12 years. "The university will heave a sigh of relief if the arrears of statutory grants are released to it soon," he said.
Surprisingly, even as the university is busy solving its power problem, the chancellor's secretariat asked it on Friday to get the biometric system installed at all the postgraduate departments and colleges at the earliest so that the attendance of teachers and non-teaching staff may be recorded and monitored.
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the vice-chancellors at Raj Bhavan some time back, but the same is yet to be implemented by the universities. The Raj Bhavan has reportedly received repeated complaints from different quarters that teachers in most institutions do not stay in their departments at least for five hours a day.
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