Nepal king owes $1 mn in utility bills

May 4th, 2008 - 1:47 pm ICT by admin  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, May 4 (IANS) On the verge of being unseated from the throne from where his forefathers ruled Nepal for over two centuries, Nepal’s cornered King Gyanendra has received another rude shock - from his utility bills. The royal family, who has been asked by the former Maoist guerrillas to quit the royal palace in three weeks’ time, owe the state nearly NRS75 million (over $1 million) over their electricity, water and phone bills, a report said.

The Narayanhity royal palace - that is likely to be turned into a museum once the Maoists form the government - owes the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) over NRS47 million for power bills.

Last month alone, the palace ran up a power bill of over NRS1 million though the king and his queen Komal spent long periods in their summer resort in Nagarjuna forest on the outskirts of Kathmandu valley, the Naya Patrika daily reported Sunday.

Citing unnamed sources in the NEA, the tabloid said the palace stopped paying its electricity dues in 2005, the year the king seized absolute power with the help of the army and triggered a national uprising that led to the downfall of the royal family the following year.

Despite the king keeping a studied silence on the developments following a historic election last month that gave victory to his b

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