Bengal’s power minister receives ‘exorbitant’ electricity bill
The private power utility said it has not been able to take meter reading in several areas due to the lockdown.Updated: Jul 16, 2020 22:06 IST
West Bengal’s power minister Sovan Deb Chatterjee claimed to have received an exorbitant electricity bill of Rs 11,000 on Thursday.
“The power utility might not have checked the meter readings over the past two months. I was shocked when I received a bill amounting to Rs 11,000. This is abnormal and exorbitant. I usually receive bills totaling Rs 7,000 during this time of the year,” said Chatterjee.
Officials of the private power utility said that due to cyclone Amphan and the lockdown, physical meter reading in many parts could not be done.
“We had sent low provisional bill based on regulatory guidelines. We have taken into account the consumption of last six months. As it was winter, the provisional amount was low. The balance has been adjusted,” said a senior official of the power utility.
Chatterjee said he received multiple calls from people complaining of exorbitant and abnormal bills.
“Some even came to my house to meet me. I have already spoken with some senior officials of the power utility,” he added.
A senior official of the power utility said customers have been offered time to pay the bills in three installments. The deadline has also been extended.
While the private power utility supplies electricity to Kolkata and Howrah, the state-run power utility, the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL) caters the remaining districts.
The private power utility had received flak recently for failure to restore supply in many pockets of Kolkata several days after cyclone Amphan hit on May 20.