Delhi government has directed power distribution company BSES to “re-check” all new electricity bills in which the consumed units are 50 per cent more than the previous bills.
Reacting to Hindustan Times reports on public outrage on grossly inflated power bills, the Chief Minister’s office on Friday held a meeting of the CEOs of all the three discoms and directed them to sort out the mess.
The discoms were asked to write letters to individual customers who have received such inflated bills, explaining the reasons behind the steep spike.
“We have also asked them to mention in the letter a phone number for bill-related queries, and an email ID where customers can send their complaints,” a senior power department official said.
BSES, under fire from all sides, claimed there were around 90,000 customers who have received such bills — mostly in South and Central Delhi and using three-phase meters.
It also admitted to a “glitch” in its software system that resulted in the August bills throwing up higher consumption figures than usual.
But at the same time, the discom maintained that consumers had indeed used more power than usual.
“There was a glitch, which did not pick up the meter reading on the usual date in the billing cycle prior to August. So the bill prior to August was exceptionally lower,” said a BSES official. “The latest bill merely reflects the units consumed for two months instead of one.”
The explanations that only high-end consumers have been affected and that two months’ usage has been clubbed in one bill are not going down well with enraged residents.
“This is all a hogwash,” said Anil Sood, Director of NGO Chetna. “The whole mess seems like the tip of a scam that they are now trying to cover up.”
With the government ordering a re-check of the bills, residents said the discom was “now exposed”.
“It is an admission of the guilt,” said Pankaj Aggarwal, general secretary of RWAs Joint Front. “We will take up this matter as a campaign.”
Meanwhile, in a public note, BSES has apologised to the public for the “inconvenience”.
Meanwhile, the payment dates for all such consumers have been extended to September 21, without late payment surcharge
BSES also requests these consumers to ignore any disconnection notice that they may have received recently.