Chhota Pakistan on electricity bills
- In Mumbai, Chhota Pakistan on electricity bills causes controversy
by Abhinav Bhatt | Updated: January 02, 2013
Mumbai. Chhota or Little Pakistan is what a nondescript grimy slum
area in Nalla Sopara near Mumbai is called on electricity bills
generated by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution company.
This shocker came to light when locals submitted these power bills as
proof for unique identification or Adhaar cards, being issued to all
"It hurts us. We are Hindustanis, not Pakistanis," says Haji Yakub, a
Another area here in Nalla Sopara which falls in Thane District is
called Laden Nagar - a reference perhaps to the terrorist Osama Bin
The electricity bill of Ramzan Mohammad Hafiz, who resides in Sagar
Welfare Society, states his address as Laden Nagar. He says he has
complained several times, but with no results.
The papers he submitted in 2007 for the electricity connection for his
home show his address as Laxmi Nagar - the actual name of the area.
"I have friends in Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB). They
laugh at me when I show them the bill," he says.
Mr Hafiz says there is a story why this patch between Santosh Nagar
and the Western Express highway came to be called Chhota Pakistan.
"There used to be tension between the builder mafia and the local
police here. That's why the cops started calling it Chhota Pakistan,"
Chaya Patil, a local corporator, brought this shocking lapse of the
electricity department to the attention of the collector.
"An electricity bill is the official document. Who is responsible for
these bills that have Chhota Pakistan written in their address box?
Why brand the locality just because it is dominated by Muslims?" she
Officials of the Maharashtra Electricity company - Mahavitaran - have
no answer for this.
When NDTV tried to question Subhash Bodhre, an officer with the state
electricity company, he said, "I have no right to speak. This
connection is of 2007 and I don't know about it."
The State Minorities Commission has asked the MSEB to probe the
"serious lapse" of terming the area Chhota Pakistan on its bills.
"This is a serious matter. Please inquire into it and inform the
Commission about your findings," State Minority Commission Chairman
Munaf Hakim said in a letter to the MSEB chief. "Let us know at what
level did the directive to term the area as 'Chhota Pakistan'
emanated," the letter said.