Bengaluru: Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy recently found himself in a bit of a tight spot, having to cough up a fine of Rs 68,526 slapped on him by BESCOM for an illegal electricity hookup. It turns out that Kumaraswamy allegedly tapped into a street light pole to power up his residence for Deepavali decorations.
In response, Kumaraswamy paid the fine online, but not without expressing his disagreement with the hefty amount. According to him, BESCOM based the fine on a calculation of 2.5 kilowatts per hour, totaling 71 units over seven days. However, the bill issued by BESCOM was a staggering Rs 68,526, a far cry from the expected Rs 2,526. Kumaraswamy, not one to take things lying down, requested a review of the bill.
The controversy began when the Congress accused Kumaraswamy of siphoning electricity from a street light pole for his Deepavali lighting extravaganza. BESCOM officials conducted an inspection and filed an FIR, resulting in the imposition of the hefty fine.
According to the sources, the BESCOM officials, led by DCP Anusha of the Vigilance Squad, meticulously counted the power consumption, determining the amount of electricity used every 10 minutes. Armed with this data, they calculated the total consumption over two days and presented their findings. Consequently, BESCOM slapped Kumaraswamy with a Rs 68,000 fine, giving him a seven-day ultimatum to settle the score.
While Kumaraswamy admitted his willingness to pay the fine, he contested its exorbitant nature. He voiced his intention to ask BESCOM for a bill review and pledged to settle the revised amount promptly.
This incident ignited a broader discussion on electricity theft in Karnataka, with opinions divided on whether Kumaraswamy should be held accountable for his actions and whether the fine was unduly high.