With an increasing number of complaints from consumers over receiving inflated power bills during the lockdown period of March to May, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has warned power companies against disconnecting electricity supply of any resident or commercial premises due to non-payment of bills. It also urged the power utilities to allow consumers make the payments in three instalments.
In a meeting convened by MERC with the heads of all power companies, the commission recommended the setting up of a dedicated help desk or appointing a grievance officer at the sub-division or division level by every utility to ensure that the grievances of the commuters are addressed within a day.
It added that the consumers should be provided an online software utility to self-track their bill in terms of correctness of units consumed as per meter reading, applicable tariff rate and tariff slab benefits among others.
The MERC said that internal controls to detect abnormal usage should be strictly implemented. If any excessive consumption is noticed, the meter reading should be re-checked on suo motu basis. It added that wherever the bill is more than double that of the average for the period of March to May, consumer should be given option to make payment in three instalments. Power supply cannot be disconnected for non-payment of bill until the bill-related grievance of the consumer is redressed, including the exercising of choice for making payment in installments, the commission said.
The commission underlined that it would keep a vigil on the billing issue and would not like any consumer to be put to any undue inconvenience by the distribution licensees.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines