Power dept fined for deficient service

  • Nikhil Sharma, HindustanTimes, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jan 10, 2016 11:09 IST

Providing relief to a city resident regarding a disputed electricity bill, the local district consumer dispute redressal forum has directed the department of electricity, UT, to pay Rs 10,000 for causing mental agony and physical harassment.

Moreover, the department has also been told to waive off the excess amount charged in the disputed bill to Misha Michael of Sector 18A. As per the directions, the department will also install a new correct and tested electricity meter at her premises and pay `7,000 as litigation cost.

The complaint

Misha in her complaint had averred that she had been making payment of bills regularly, but the electricity department had declined to accept her current bill on the basis that her payment of the disputed bill was pending.

The complaint’s mother one day observed that their electricity meter was running fast, following which a complaint was submitted with the department sub-divisional officer (SDO) concerned on August 25, 2014. She also deposited `500 as fee on September 8.

Thereafter, the department installed a check-meter on January 24, 2015, parallel to the original one for 10 days, and removed it on February 2.

At the time of installation, the reading of the challenged meter was 30,624 and reading of check-meter was 00006, whereas at the time of removing it, the readings were 30,769 and 00074, respectively.

After that the department officials took away the challenged meter.

Misha received a letter on February 10 from the department that she needed to be present at the SDO office during the re-checking of the meter in question.

Though complainant’s husband was present at the office during the checking, the AEE and the SDO gave the report contrary to the actual observations of the department officials who had installed the check-meter, claimed Misha.

She was told the meter was running slow, and the department authorities took the signatures of her husband “who is not a technical person” on the report on February 12.

Thus, she accused the department and the SDO for deficiency in services.

In a joint reply from the opposite parties, it was averred that during the time of the complaint, the electronic testing equipment was not available with the department office, so the check-meter was installed at the premises.

The forum, in its order, observed, “Both the reports of the opposite parties are contradictory, which is itself a deficient act on their part.”

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