What may embarrass NCP chief Sharad Pawar and his daughter Supriya Sule in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections is that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has named the latter as a water charge defaulter.
The defaulters' list (as on April 1) on BMC's website also includes names of Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, veteran actor Jeetendra and family members of former chief minister of Maharashtra, AR Antulay. Names of the ex-CM's family members had appeared in the defaulters' list earlier too as reported by dna on January 29.
As per BMC details, the connection code number of Sule, who is contesting the LS polls from Baramati constituency, is DX@0005724 for the address — Bungalow number 2, Silver Oak Estate, 45, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mumbai 400026. According to media reports published last year, Pawar had become a permanent resident of Mumbai on the same address since 2013.
"The list includes names of those consumers who have failed to pay charges within the stipulated period of 45 days after bills are circulated. If a defaulter still fails to make payment, then his/her connection will be cut," an official said, wishing not to be named.
He added that the list is being updated every 24 hours. "If a consumer clears dues, then we remove his/her name from the list immediately," he added.
Despite repeated attempts, Sule remained unavailable for comment. Bachchan and Jeetendra, residents of Vile Parle, too could not be reached for their versions.
While Antulay could not be contacted, someone named Prakash, who introduced himself as one of his staffers, said there are no dues pending. "We have already cleared the bills. The recent bill too has been cleared," Prakash claimed.
Civic activists say they are not shocked at the revelation. "It's a normal thing that such big shots are not their clearing bills. Take case of Antulay's family, which has defaulted on payment for the second time. If a commoner does not pay, his connection will be cut. But the municipal administration won't dare to take action against these people," rued James John of city-based NGO AGNI.