July 21, 2020 4:33:50 pm
People across the country have been fuming after getting huge power bills for the lockdown period in July. It may have started with Mumbai residents, but residents across cities have been complaining about what they say are exorbitant bills.
People have been taking to social media, tagging authorities and criticising power suppliers for the high charges. Many have uploaded their bills on social media. People have claimed that they were billed between three to 15 times the usual levels, with bills for the month of June even above Rs 30,000 in some cases.
There have been protests in Delhi, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, with people even taking to the streets in protest. In Kolkata, consumers were allowed to pay their bills in instalments, but people are seeking the charges be waived.
Many shared memes on social media about the bills they have received. People said the bills were ridiculous and many pointed out that with pay cuts and job losses these bills were unfair.
— Nandini dubey (@Nandinidubey2) July 21, 2020
— Biswajit Behera (@Biswaji35455911) July 21, 2020
— KitKat (@_priyanshiiii__) July 21, 2020
— RightToRecall (@rtr2025) July 21, 2020
After getting #electricitybill
Public to Electricity board pic.twitter.com/dSGuVPm0yo
— Swati Sahu (@Swatisahu08) July 21, 2020
After giving #electricitybill to common people .
Common people : pic.twitter.com/dQPUypEKiP
— आह्म ब्रह्मास्मि (@aahmm_brahmasmI) July 21, 2020
— Arush sharma (@Aarushbhardwaj0) July 21, 2020
Electrity board to commom man pic.twitter.com/eQ3ild8D9N
— Pankaj Khanna (@itsmepankajkh) July 21, 2020
#electricitybill is getting high day by day
Meanwhile People Pointing @narendramodi
— Sᴀᴜʀᴀʙʜ🖤💸 (@S_a_u_r_a_b_hh_) July 21, 2020
— Johnny Sins (@Kv3_Singh) July 21, 2020
— Ek Cutting (@_ekcutting_) July 21, 2020
— Bittu (@iamwitman) July 21, 2020
Every common man after seeing the bill. pic.twitter.com/1jypyxHMnV
— shreya🌸🌺 (@Shreya_singh06) July 21, 2020
— Tonishark (@Tonishark3) July 21, 2020
Power companies have said that since they couldn’t send employees to take meter readings during the lockdown consumers’ electricity bills were estimated on the basis of the average consumption in the months preceding the lockdown. Alternatively, they were based on the history of power consumption in the same period in previous years.
Firms have argued that consumers underpaid for the months of April and May, which caused the bills to spike in June.
“The bills were raised on actual meter readings for summer months when consumption is normally higher,” Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) had said in a statement.
Following complaints, power distribution firms also issued elaborate statements and came up with guides to help consumers understand their bills.
“Please appreciate that Covid-19 and the lockdown across the country has altered our lifestyle significantly. For the period of 91 days for which the bills are being sent out, the family remained inside home for all 24 hrs. Tata Power would like the consumers to look for such lifestyle changes while reflecting over the last 3 months of lockdown and compare it with lifestyle pre lockdown or last year’s same months,” Tata Power said in a statement.
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