CM brings in power watchdog to sort bill row
Power distributors in Delhi are about to face more flak for their customers receiving grossly inflated bills in August. Now, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has asked power regulator Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) to find a solution to the problem within a month.delhi Updated: Sep 13, 2009 23:58 IST
Power distributors in Delhi are about to face more flak for their customers receiving grossly inflated bills in August.
Now, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has asked power regulator Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) to find a solution to the problem within a month.
The regulator would constitute a special committee to deal with the matter, its chairman Berjinder Singh has informed Dikshit.
“Officials from the central department of information technology would be engaged to check the billing software of the discoms,” said Singh.
The DERC is to submit its fact-finding report on “ground realities” in 15 days.
Representatives of Delhi's Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) met the CM at her residence on Saturday and informed about the grossly inflated bills.
Dikshit then called a high-level meeting of the discom CEOs, her secretaries, the DERC chairman and the chairman of the public grievance committee.
“The chief minister asked BSES to extend the due date of the disputed August bills to end of September. She also asked the discom CEO to not harass the consumers over late payment of the said bills,” said a statement from the chief minister’s residence.
Acting upon Hindustan Times reports, the DERC and the Delhi government had taken up the matter of the inflated bills. “We have submitted a memorandum to the CM and demanded that the government’s central auditor, the Comptroller Auditor General, scan the accounts of the discoms,” said Pankaj Aggarwal, general secretary of the RWAs’ Joint Front.
According to BSES, three things led to the grossly high power bills.
It said that it suffered a technical snag, which resulted in billing lower than actual in the billing cycle preceding August, so in the latest bill that had to be adjusted.
The rainless monsoon added to the heat, and people used more power, and the compressor-based appliances guzzled more electricity than usual, the discom said.
“Most of the consumers with such high bills use a three-phased meter, which is used for higher-level consumers,” a BSES official said.