The consumer forum has directed the UT electricity department to pay Rs 10000 to a city-based couple for not reimbursing the amount of a wire installed at their residence for a three-phase meter, which was purchased by the complainants as the department did not have it.
The complaints, Nareshjit Singh Anand and his wife Tarlochan Kaur of Sector 44, Chandigarh, had requested the Executive Engineer and the SDO of UT electricity department to increase their ‘connected load’ from two-phase to three-phase supply. They had deposited Rs 25 as processing fee and Rs 4800 for initial security of meter and service connection charges fee (material cost) on May 8, 2017.
After no action was taken on the application for 15 days, the complainants learnt that the 10 mm, 4 core wire required for three-phase connection was not available with the department. Anand then purchased the required wire from the market paying Rs 869 and got the three-phase meter installed from the department. He claimed that after the installation, no reimbursement was made by the department for the wire purchased by him from his own pocket, which otherwise was required to be arranged by the electricity department. He alleged that the department had taken full amount for load enhancement as per their demand notice and they were guilty of asking the consumer to supply the material from his own pocket. The complainant then moved the consumer forum.
The UT electricity department in its reply stated that the physical verification of the premises of complainant was carried out for assessment of extension of load applied and it was found that the load was to be extended above the slab of 5 KW and accordingly, the complainant was asked to deposit Rs 4800. Meanwhile, due to non-availability of the wire required for installation, the meter could not be installed at the premises of the complainant and he was asked to wait for some time, but he was adamant to put up the three-phase meter within no time and so the department had accommodated the complainant by accepting and installing the wire brought by him.
The forum after hearing the arguments observed the department has mentioned that the wire needed for the installation of 3 Phase electricity meter was to be procured from the store and some time was required to complete the administrative formalities, but no document was appended with the reply by the department, hence their version cannot be believed.
In the judgment released on October 5, the forum stated that the admission of the department that the extension of load after installation of three- phase meter got reflected in the electricity bill issued to the complainant on September 22, 2017 and the amount spent on the purchase of wire in question had been adjusted, which was reflected in the bill issued in the month of July, 2018, clearly shows that it is only after filing of the present complaint that the department took action to make the adjustment of the amount, which they were duty bound to refund much earlier in 2017.
The forum found the department guilty of ‘deficiency in service’, and ordered it to pay Rs 10000 as compensation to complainant.