A 55-year-old woman in Ranchi was in for a shock after her son was asked to pay an electricity bill of Rs 55 crore by the Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB).
A profusely sweating Kunti Devi had to be taken to a doctor on Friday, after she found the exorbitant bill slipped under her modest two-bedroom apartment's door.
Krishna Prasad, 31, a small time business in Ranchi’s Kadru area, said, “The JSEB almost killed my mom. She could have suffered a heart attack from shock. Her blood pressure was above 145.”
“We had gone for a wedding. On our return on Friday my mother found the bill. She almost lost her balance and was profusely sweating," he said.
JSEB slapped an Rs 55,49,88,036 bill on Prasad and asked him to clear it by Monday for 9.90 crore unit of electricity consumed.
“I have a small shop under my apartment. I have been charged Rs 55 crore for a fridge, two ACs, three fans and an inverter. Did the JSEB think I was running a steel factory,” said Prasad.
Prasad has vowed to take the JSEB to court and file case of mental harassment and compensation. “The bill was astonishing at a time when everyday there was power cuts for at least seven hours,” he said.
The last bill cleared by the Prasad family was on April 13 for Rs 9736.
The Jharkhand electricity department has suspended two of its employees for negligence. JSEB in a press communiqué has also assured revision of the amount.
"There was a software error and an incorrect bill was printed. We have contacted the vendor to find the bugs,” said Ranchi central division–in charge, DN Sahu, adding that the actual bill was Rs 10000, including a due of Rs 360.