Long queues at a bill payment centre in Mohali with no special queues for senior citizens.(HT photo)
Long queues at a bill payment centre in Mohali with no special queues for senior citizens.(HT photo)

No machine facilities, long queues: Paying power bills a pain in Mohali

Things going from bad to worse after payment facility through machines discontinued from August 1
Hindustan Times, Mohali | By HT Correspondent, Mohali
UPDATED ON SEP 10, 2020 08:00 PM IST

Long queues in the heat and no social distancing. Paying electricity bills in Mohali is no mean feat, local residents complain, especially after machine facilities for payment were discontinued from August 1.

Even social distancing is not being followed.

Long queues have been reported of late at the main office of the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) in Phase-1 of Industrial Area, Mohali, and at Kharar, Zirakpur, Dera Bassi and Lalru.

Despite four counters in Mohali, many consumers have to wait for long hours and many have to return home disappointed because of the restricted timings from 9 am to 2 pm.

Surprisingly, though it began operations since 1976, the PSPCL main office in Industrial Area has not been modernised. Without payment machines, lines extend well outside the small queue shelters in front of the counters.

Even the fans there are not very effective.

In 2017, PSPCL installed five electricity bill payment machines in various parts of Mohali, including Phase-9, Sector 68, Phase-9 Gurdwara, Sohana Gurdwara and Phase-1 Gurudwara. Two were also installed in Zirakpur, two in Kharar and three in Lalru. The contract with the machine supplier, however, was cancelled from August 1.

Raghbir Singh Grewal (75), a Sector 71 resident, complains that no separate queues are allowed for senior citizens and women. “We suggest that the authorities concerned keep drop boxes and make quick payment arrangements for senior citizens and women.”

When contacted, superintending engineer, Mohali, Mohit Sood said, “We have done marking to maintain social distancing, but consumers are not following it. As far as payment machines are concerned, the state government has cancelled the contract with the company as there were several issues.”

Electricity bills can be paid online too, at the PSPCL website, to help local residents avoid the hassles of visiting a payment centre.

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