To resolve complaints of “faulty” meters in the capital, the Aam Aadmi Party government plans to rope in Delhi College of Engineering (now Delhi Technological University) as a third party to check such meters. The move comes after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced a new meter-testing drive earlier this month.
According to the announcement made by Kejriwal, the drive is likely to be launched next month. It would involve checking 10,000 “fast” meters, selected randomly, to assess if they are defective.
After the check if majority of the complaints pertaining to faulty meters are proved right, the government will decide on measures to correct the meters. The government can also initiate action against the power distribution companies in that case.
Sources said a proposal to appoint a third-party independent agency for checking meters needs to be approved by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Authority (DERC).
The meter-checking drive was announced after Kejriwal claimed that there were several complaints of meters running ‘fast’ and a public demand to check meters that have allegedly led to inflated bills. Power department officials said the consumers have time till January 31 to get their complaints lodged.
“In view of consumer complaints on fast running meters and inflated bills, the Department of Power has decided to randomly carry out third-party independent meter-testing for the domestic electricity consumers in Delhi. The service will be provided free of cost to the consumers,” Secretary (Power) Puneet Goel said.
The DERC had in its last tariff order called for a meter-testing drive, and allotted Rs 50 lakh to the public grievance cell for the same. The government is looking at the possibility of utilising these funds for the current drive.
“The DERC funds can be used for this drive and any additional expenditure will be borne by the state government, not the consumers,” a senior official said.
To get a meter tested, a consumer is required to submit an application with their contact details and a copy of the recent power bill at any Deputy Commissioner’s office, irrespective of jurisdiction.
“Of all the applications received, 10,000 meters will be randomly selected for checking by an independent agency. Based on the results, action will be taken by Department of Power,” Goel said.
A official said the government had approached several engineering colleges, including IIT-Delhi and Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology.