Varanasi: The UP Power Corporation on Monday restored power supply to noted author Munshi Premchand's ancestral house at Lamhi on the city's outskirts amid a row over its alleged disconnection by them early last week, days before the renowned Hindi novelist's 139th birth anniversary celebrations.
Varanasi District Magistrate Surendra Singh, however, denied that the power supply to the legendry writer's ancestral village home was ever disconnected.
Durga Prasad Shrivatava, a Lamhi villager and an active organiser of the Lamhi Mahotsav since 2011, alleged that the power supply to the house was disconnected four-five days back by the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation officials over alleged non-payment of electricity dues.
This forced the organisers to make preparations for the celebration of the late master storyteller's 139th birthday on July 31 amid candlelight and lanterns, said Srivastava.
"The power was restored only today after a widespread resentment among Lamhi villagers and Varanasi residents here, Srivastva told PTI on phone.
Varanasi DM Singh, however, stoutly denied the allegation that the power was disconnected by the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation officials.
Responding to a telephone call from New Delhi, Singh told PTI that the power supply line was rather snapped due to "carelessness" by some labourers, engaged by the Varanasi Development Authority to paint the two-room house of the late writer.
"There was no controversy at all. The power supply was disrupted due to carelessness of labourers in handling ladders and snapping the power lines," he said.
"I personally visited the village today with power department officials and got the power lines connected after I heard of allegations," he said.
Singh explained that there are two houses in the village linked to Munshi Premchand -- one his ancestral house and another a museum named after him.
"While the museum is managed by the state's Culture Department, the house is a private property, which is not visited by even the distant kin of the legendary writer," said Singh.
Accordingly, the Varanasi Development Authority has undertaken the repairing and painting of the building in the run-up to the Lamhi Mahotsav, he said.
He added that even the electricity bills of the author's private ancestral house have not been paid by anybody for several years.