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Six-month bill plight set right in a day

An elderly resident’s inflated energy bill was corrected in a day after she made repeated rounds to the power office for the past six months.

It took Asha Tatarvai, a 66-year-old Hanuman Nagar resident in Kankerbagh, a meeting with Bihar State Power Holding Company’s chairman-cum-managing director Pratyaya Amrit to resolve her six-month-old problem.

Last year, she was served a power bill of Rs 1.92 lakh for electricity consumption between November 15 and December 12, 2013. The problem was the house was closed during that period. Shocked at the bill amount, she made rounds of the power distribution company’s office for six months. It did not help. Around 6pm on Monday, she met Amrit at office with a plea to waive the bill generated because of a defective meter. On Tuesday, her bill was corrected to Rs 10,100.

“I explained my problem to Amrit and he took note of my complaint very sincerely. It is evident because his office made calls to the officials concerned and the matter was resolved on Tuesday. Other officials should also take note of the problems being faced by consumers, especially the elderly,” she said.

Patna Electric Supply Undertaking (Pesu), too, agreed that the meter was defective.

Tatarvai, a homemaker living in a two-room flat, said: “My flat was closed from July 2010 to December 2013, as I was staying with my son in Delhi for my husband’s treatment. During that period, the bills were paid according to the rate fixed by the department for closed flats. When I returned in December 2013, I found that my electricity connection was snapped. I got it restored by completing the necessary formalities, while I stayed at my relative’s house.”

Stating that her flat does not even have an air-conditioner, she said: “I could not believe the bill amount first. Then I found that the meter was defective. It ran even when lights and fans were switched off. I made a complaint to the Kankerbagh supply division office.”

The equipment was sent for testing at the meter relay and testing division, which also found it defective. It was replaced but the problem of the inflated bill remained.

Pesu executive engineer, Kankerbagh division, Shanker Choudhary said: “The reading on Tatarvai’s meter would jump for which it moved so fast and led to an inflated bill. It was later replaced. The resolution took time because the division got the test report from the laboratory late.”