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Do you know they exist?

india Updated: Aug 28, 2006 01:22 IST
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THE POWER distribution companies are not making any publicity of the Consumer Grievance Forums (CGFs). As a result, the forums set up by discoms around a year back due to a statutory requirement under the Electricity Act 2003 are receiving a few complaints.

Surprisingly, out of five lakh consumers, only one turned up to lodge his grievance at the CGF situated in the State Capital between January and March 2006 and six turned up during the next three months.

This shows that the consumers are not aware of  the existence of the CGFs.  The progress reports, received at the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) from the four distribution companies covering the State, show that the  CGFs are hardly functioning.

According to reports compiled by the UPERC four discoms — Poorvanchal (Varanasi), Paschimanchal (Meerut), Madhyanchal (Lucknow) and Dakshinanchal (Agra), — received only 202 complaints from January 2006 to June 2006.
This happened despite the fact that there are around 85 lakh power consumers in the State with plenty of grievances.

Of them, 173 complaints were disposed of and as many as 233 were pending till the end of June when the information was last received. The situation is bad in the Madhyanchal discom where only 11 consumers reached the CGFs. No consumer turned up at the CGFs in Gonda, Sitapur, Rae Bareli, Hardoi, Pilibhit, Budaun and Bareilly.

In the Poorvanchal discom, 48 grievances were received with the CGFs at Azamgarh, Balia, Mau, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria, Maharajganj,
Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar and some others reporting no case. Even in Varanasi, only one complaint was received. 

Baghpat, Moradabad and Rampur CGFs under the Meerut discoms received no complaints. The CGFs in the Dakshinanchal discom received 92 complaints but the CGFs at Firozabad, Banda, Etawah and Farukhabad received no consumer grievances.

The CGFs set up under the Electricity Act 2003 are supposed to redress the consumers’ grievances with regard to their bills, power connections and meters.
There is a provision of one CGF in each Circle/district. Each CGF comprises two members: One deputy general manager and another either a retired judge or lawyer or any other prominent person.

However, the people are not being benefited due to the discoms’ failure to make publicity of CGFs. As per rules, the discoms are bound to publicise the CGFs through electricity bills, pamphlets and similar others means.

“We are repeatedly writing to the discoms to make a wide publicity of CGFs so that the consumers can be benefited but the discoms are not doing it,” said UPERC Chairman, Vijoy Kumar. He said the Commission had called a meeting of the CGF heads on September 18 to discuss the issue.