February 14, 2009 1:31:38 am
On Friday,around 700 families living at Boat Club Road and Dhole Patil Road received their electricity bills a day after the date for payment without late fee. And when they went to pay their bills,officials of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) asked them to pay the late fee,citing the late payment clause stipulated in the bill.
One of the residents,Feroza Saran,said residents of Vinspa,La Shanz,Madhuban,Mayfair and Riverside societies were among those who received their power bills on Friday. Gita Vir,head of the Local Residents Forum (Moholla committee),said: We received our bills on Friday morning,which is a day after the due date. When we went to the contractor (who delivers the bills) to question him why our bills were late,he said it was the sub-contractors fault. So,around 700 bills have been delivered late. I collected some 90 bills from the contractor and distributed these among consumers.
Saran said when they went to pay their bills at the MSEDCL office near Wadia College,the officials asked them to pay the late fee of Rs 30 a bill. When they questioned this,saying it was the utilitys fault,the officers said they had no option but to pay the late fee now; the issue could be looked into later.
The MSEDCL will earn Rs 21,000 from these 700 bills,which is unscrupulous. This amounts to robbing the public, Saran said,adding,When we spoke to legal experts we came to know that we should receive our bills 15 days before the due date.
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Satish Rajdeep,executive engineer (Bund Garden division) ofMSEDCL,said: The late fee will be waived for residents who received their bills late. I will direct officers at our office near Wadia College on this. All affected residents can visit our office on Monday and get their dues settled.
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