City faces fear of dark Diwali | delhi | Hindustan Times
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City faces fear of dark Diwali

Days before Diwali, a large number of Delhiites are fearing disconnection of power supply by BSES, a power distributor in the Capital, reports Avishek G Dastidar.

delhi Updated: Oct 14, 2009 23:56 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

Days before Diwali, a large number of Delhiites are fearing disconnection of power supply by BSES, a power distributor in the Capital.

Several consumers have alleged that the BSES was threatening to cut supply and insisting that the “inflated bills” be cleared first.

Many Delhiites, in south, central and west Delhi, who had received abnormally inflated power bills for June and July, had refused to pay the bills alleging foul play by BSES.

Intervening in the matter, the Delhi government told BSES to wait till October 31 before taking any action on the matter.
A group representing Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) met Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday to complain about this.

“We have told the CM that BSES has no right to cut supply because the bills for the months of June and July are disputed and a probe is on,” said Pankaj Aggarwal, general secretary of the RWAs Joint Front, who headed the delegation.
“They are refusing to accept the current month's charges saying the charges along with arrears (the disputed amounts of the inflated bills) would have to be cleared,” he said.

BSES’s Mumbai-based Chairman Lalit Jalan in a presentation to Dikshit later in the day claimed that the company's billing software was impeccable.

Speaking to HT, Jalan said, “We have examined all the complaints, but not a single case of so-called inflated bill has been found to be a mistake from our side.”

BSES is drafting a reply to the show cause notice by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) regarding alleged discrepancies in its billing software, as audited by the Standardisation, Testing and Quality Certification of Department of IT, Ministry of Communication.

The report, accessed by HT, suggests that auditors were shown all documents and figures during the probe. “All the documents which the auditors asked from us had been provided to the DERC much before the audit started. The auditors seemed in a lot of hurry to conclude the probe,” said a senior official on the condition of anonymity.

The official also said the probe report had not indicated a single case of erroneous/inflated bill. “They have merely nitpicked on our system, which do not amount to anything substantial,” he said.

The DERC is awaiting a reply from the BSES by Thursday after which it would take a decision on its probe and also the quantum of relief to aggrieved consumers by October 31.