TAKING COGNIZANCE of woes of power supply consumers, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), the bus transport and power supply utility in the city, heard a point of order raised by a BEST committee member against seeking online registrations of new power supply connections. The member complained that problems with the network connection of the customer care centres are leading to turning down of requests of 150-200 consumers on an average on a daily basis.
In a committee meeting held on Monday, Ravi Raja, Opposition leader in Congress and BEST committee member, raised a point of order stating problems faced by consumers in making online payments. The consumers who approach the customer care centers have to return empty handed after the servers fail to get network connection.
“As many as 150-200 people on a daily basis approach these centres for their work which includes new supply connections, or changing names or addresses of consumers. Slum dwellers in particular are finding it difficult to produce debit/credit cards for making payments. Servers of these systems also tend to remain down most of the time,” Ravi Raja said.
BEST has nine of these customer care centers across the city which help consumers with their supply connection and payment related queries. While the undertaking had made online registration compulsory for high-end voltage users last year, they included the same for residential users last week.
“Only registrations for new supply connections are reserved for online, which means, all other supply requests concerning name change and transfer changes are allowed to be done in offline mode. We could get facilitators for the people who could help them with the online process,” a senior BEST official said.
“An online registration process helps BEST keep record of the details of the person and helps us monitor the same. It facilitates the process and also ensures zero misuse by officials. We have taken note of the concerns raised,” Surendrakumar Bagde, General Manger, BEST, said. Raja said around 1,18,000 complaints have been received by the undertaking against erroneous power bills charged in the past one month.
Around 18,000 complaints for being charged higher than the usage have been received from consumers in F North ward (Matunga and King Circle), which forms one of the highest consumer base of the BEST.