Taapsee Pannu, Renuka Shahane, Huma S Qureshi ‘shocked’ with their whopping electricity bills
Actors such as Taapsee Pannu, Huma S Qureshi, and Renuka Shahane all took to Twitter to complain about their high electricity bills. We talk to a few of them about this ‘shock’ (pun intended).Updated: Jun 29, 2020, 20:40 IST
Many common people and celebrities got the shock of their lives (pun intended) in the form of their post lockdown electricity bills in Delhi and Mumbai. Actor Taapsee Pannu, who was charged ₹36,000 for June — almost 10 times the usual — shared her surprise by tweeting, “3 months of lockdown and I wonder what appliance(s) I have newly used or bought in the apartment only last month to have such an insane rise in my electricity bill….”The 32-year-old tells us, “That was a shocking bill I received. When I took up with them they said that due to lockdown they didn’t mention the right amount for the first two months. They charged us basis approximate reading and the bill was supposed to be higher for first two months than what it was, that’s why they have added the difference in the third month.”
However, she has doubts on the electricity provider’s theory. Pannu adds, “They don’t have any proof of what our actual reading was. How do we know how high was it? No one really recorded the reading and sent it to us until I raised this issue on social media. Now they have produced the higher readings. I am not sure if they are correct.”
Actor Amyra Dastur said she wasn’t even living in the flat she was charged for, since April 1. Vir Das and Renuka Shahane were also taken aback by their bills.
Shahane tweeted: “I got a bill of Rs5510/= on the 9th of May while in June I got a bill of Rs 29,700 combining May & June where you’ve charged me Rs 18080 for the month of May. How did Rs.5510/= become Rs.18080/=?” The actor says that she has had to pay the bill anyway, as not paying was never an option.“Luckily, I am part of the privileged lot who actually can pay even if the bills are inflated, and take it up later. But my contention is limited to my bill, on what basis have they averaged the March and April 2020 bills according to the readings of May. Okay, they have been kind and halved the bill for April and May, but now the June bill has come, they have added the difference of March as well as April in the bill for May, which came in June,” says the 55-year-old.
The company, in Mumbai, has since clarified. “We have re-started physical meter reading... Bills were generated on the lower side, being an average of preceding three months that is, December, January and February... Actual consumption in...April, May and June is comparatively higher due to seasonal impact (summer) and increased usage (advent of Lockdown/WfH),” said a spokesperson of Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited.
Actor Dino Morea also was one among the many who pointed out the high electricity bills. However, he is optimistic. “I am sure there’s a solution, there’s a meter reading and units consumed. We’ll just have to understand it better from the electricity company as to why so high suddenly. I am sure if there’s an excess charged they will credit it back to me,” he says.
Delhiites too face similar woes. Aashima Akhtar, a 3rd year student in Delhi University, asks how is she supposed to pay such steep bills. “Apparently BSES has this provisional billing rule in effect owing to lockdown. So they’re asking us to pay bills on last year’s usage. So, during the three months of lockdown, my bill was a total of Rs13000, the most recent one being almost 8000. Note that this is a rented apartment and the tenants last year had 2 ACs, multiple TVs and coolers, while I have none of these. While I understand physical reading is unsafe for employees, charging bills based on last year’s usage is ridiculous,” she says.
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