Mumbai, April 17 (IANS) Senior Congress leader and ex-minister Naseem Khan on Friday demanded that the Maharashtra government should give a waiver of three months on power bills for all religious places in the state.
In a letter to Power Minister Nitin Raut, Khan has pointed out that owing to the ongoing lockdown, all temples, mosques, churches, gurdwaras, Buddha-viharas, cemeteries and crematoriums have been deprived of financial help from the people.
“There are a little over 8,000 such religious or places of worship which are thronged by hundreds or thousands of people daily, the devotees make their offerings, which help sustain all such places. But due to the lockdown, these places of worship are running empty coffers, making it difficult for them to even meet their basic or emergency expenses,” Khan told IANS.
On an average, he said that while small places of worship run up average monthly electric bills of around Rs 5,000, and bigger ones are in the range of Rs 10,000 or more, and roughly, it works out to an average of around Rs six-seven crores per month, he added.
“We feel the government can easily afford to write off the amount for these three critical months. I discussed the issue with Minister Raut who has promised to consider the proposal positively soon in public interest,” Khan said.