440-volt shock: Closed Mohali factory gets Rs 6-crore power bill

  • Jyotsna Jalali, Hindustan Times, SAS Nagar
  • Updated: Feb 06, 2015 10:42 IST

One can always trust the mandarins of the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) for providing a 440-volt electric shock without any power supply to its consumers.

This is what has transpired with a former owner and Phase 3B2 resident, Guljit Singh Shah, 57. He has been served with a power bill of Rs 6.68 crore for his tractor-parts making factory in Phase 9 for a month from December 10, 2014, to January 10, 2015. The factory, incidentally, has been out of production, since April 2014.

What makes the incident even more shocking is that he was issued a bill for Rs 6.14 for September 9 to December 9 for the same premises, which he had already contested.

As things stand now, Shah, a heart patient, owns a factory that has no electricity and has unpaid bills of Rs 6 crore for electricity it never consumed. Shah told HT, “Since I closed the factory in April, I have been paying Rs 7,000 as monthly bill with an average consumption of 300 units. Now, the last two bills have been a huge shock as they show a consumption of 95 lakh units.”

Meanwhile, the PSPCL seemed to be speak in two voices on the issue. Initially sticking to the line that such a huge bill could only be sent out based on actual meter reading, it later changed tack. An official even claimed that the electricity to the factory had not been disconnected.

PSPCL Superintending engineer HS Boparia said, “It appears to be a case of faulty meter.”

Later, he said, “The said connection has not been disconnected and there is a bill of around Rs 73,000 pending against the factory. The matter will be looked into.”

Bill not generated for a year

There are other problems with the billing system at the PSPCL with timely generation a major concern.

Residents often complain that bills are received after a gap of about five months. A resident of Sector 127, Sarvdeep Kohli, claims to have received no bill since he given a connection in Feburary 2014.

Consumer court raps PSPCL

In a recent judgment, the district consumer disputes redressal forum directed the PSPCL to pay compensation of Rs 5,000 to a Sector-79 resident after her bill showed an additional unexplained surcharge for a bill being delayed.

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