Morning office goers in the state would now be able to pay energy bills on way to work, as Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (Berc) has directed the Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Ltd to keep a counter open from 8am in each of its divisions.
The directive on March 15 also recommended a slew of measures to the holding firm to augment bill payment and redressal mechanisms.
A common complaint of the consumers is that the distribution companies — North Bihar Power Distribution Company Ltd and South Bihar Power Distribution Company Ltd — do not conduct meter readings nor do they deliver bills on time. On most occasions, consumers receive their bills just a day or two before the submission date and sometimes even after the lapse of the due date.
“It is a harrowing experience depositing the bill if we receive it a day or two before the due date. We also have to stand in queue to deposit the bill in the absence of adequate number of counters,” said Dhananjay Kumar Jha, a resident of the BMP area in Muzaffarpur.
Commission chairperson U.N. Panjiar, in his order, said consumers should be provided at least 14 days’ time from the date of delivery of the bill for payment besides opening adequate numbers of counters with proper facilities.
The order also mentioned that office goers face difficulties in paying the bill, as the collection counters are open from 10am to 2.30pm. In this regard, the commission directed the holding firm to keep one kiosk open from 8am in every division.
The power company would have to submit the report vis-ŕ-vis compliance of its order by September 30, the order further said.