The Telegraph
Tuesday , August 19 , 2014
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Care centre to cater to power grievances

Jorhat, Aug. 18: The Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) will open a customer care centre in Guwahati to improve services to its customers.

The company’s managing director, Rathindralal Barua, who is on a visit to Upper Assam, told reporters here today that within the next four months, a toll-free number would be operational round-the-clock.

At present, customers have to register their complaints locally and there were instances of customers getting agitated as a result of non-fulfilment of the grievances.

Barua said a call centre would be entrusted to run the customer care centre, which will receive complaints from customers across the state and forward them to the respective places for necessary redressal.

The managing director said senior officials of the company would monitor the functioning of the customer care centre. A record of every complaint would be kept and the staff will check whether such complaints were attended to and verify the same from customers.

Barua said the proposed initiative was to improve ties with the customers as a part of measures being adopted to make employees more professional.

He said the company has undertaken a method of providing an insulation cover (aerial bunch conductor) on the low-tension power cable to prevent theft of power by connecting illegally on the lines by unscrupulous people.

Barua said, as part of the project to monitor power supply and revenue earned per month by the company, data from 67 towns was sent daily to the company headquarters on power supplied to consumers and revenue deposited.

He said every month the revenue gap was being looked into and, accordingly, efforts undertaken to bring down the gap.

Gradually such monitoring will be done on all electricity sub-divisions across the state to reduce the losses faced by the company due to various factors. At present, the losses faced by the company ranged between Rs 30 crore and Rs 40 crore. This was expected to come down soon after a series of measures were carried out in the state.

Barua said the company has undertaken an initiative — organising electricity service connections melas — in the sub-divisions where customers whose connections have been disconnected due to huge arrears and other forms of irregularities, were provided new connections immediately after all dues and penalties were cleared and, where necessary, new meters installed. The managing director said an increase in power tariff by Rs 35 paise per unit from August 2014 was expected to boost revenues.

He said 12 special police stations to check power theft were operating across the state under the company to prevent revenue losses. The government has been bailing out the APDCL from time to time and the government has decided to pay Rs 250 crore to the company “very soon”.

He said the government was also committed to pay another Rs 250 crore in 10 instalments (Rs 25 crore per month).

He said by next year the company hopes to be clear of all liabilities if Rs 500 crore was received from the government and revenue collection goes up. The company’s general manager (Jorhat zone), Pranab Bora, chief general manager (Upper Assam region), Hassan Sajad Ahmed and chief project officer (Asian Development Bank funds), Pranab Kumar Sarmah, were present.