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‘Fast’ meters & shocker bills

Alleged inflated electricity bills are giving power consumers here a headache.

The consumers are fuming over the functioning of Essel Vidyut Vitran Limited, a private agency that has been assigned the distribution franchise for the district.

Zafar Kalim Siddique, a resident of Faiz Colony, said: “The distribution company needs to address this issue on a priority basis, else consumer discontent would increase in the days to come. Fast running meters lead to inflated reading and thus put additional burden on consumers.”¯

Another resident of Banaras Bank Chowk, Ram Kumar Choudhary, said though technicians of the distribution franchise charge Rs 100 for examining faulty meters, they do nothing. “They rather justify the inflated bills,” he added.

The North Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries (NBCCI) has also expressed concern over the functioning of the franchise company. “Flawed bills have turned out to be a major headache for consumers. The distribution franchise should address this problem on a priority basis,” NBCCI chairman Motilal Chapari said.

Presenting the distribution franchise side, its business head Sanjiv Kumar said: “The firm had collected a revenue of Rs 13.78 crore only against the target of Rs 17.56 crore for the month of July. Only 62 per cent power consumers had been served bills and efforts were being made to reach out to all the consumers.”

The rest 38 per cent consumers could not be served electricity bills because of manpower shortage of the distribution franchise, Sanjiv added.

The district administration has swung into action to address the problems facing the consumers.

District magistrate Anupam Kumar has directed the franchise company to address the bill anomaly issue on a priority basis.

Commenting on the action being taken against those who were not paying their power bills, franchise firm sources said the district administration was providing full cooperation and the district magistrate had directed the firm to lodge FIR against the defaulters.

Repeated calls by the distribution franchise to the consumers asking them to pay their pending bills has turned out to be another irritant. Ishrat Parween, a resident of Chandwara locality, said: “These calls are irritating as consumers generally pay the bills themselves. Such calls should be made only to the defaulters.”