Chhattisgarh farmer gets electricity bill of Rs 76.73 crore for one month
The electricity department claimed it was a technical error and that Ram Prasad’s electricity metre was changed on August 4, which led to the error in reading.india Updated: Sep 25, 2017 17:28 IST
A marginal farmer from Chhattisgarh’s Mahasamund district got the shock of his life after he was handed over an electricity bill of Rs 76.73 crore for the month of September.
“This is a shocker for me and I could not believe it. I have electricity for domestic use only but they gave me a bill of 76.73 crore,” Ram Prasad said.
The electricity department claimed it was a technical error and that Prasad’s electricity metre was changed on August 4, which led to the error in reading.
“The last reading of the old electricity metre was not entered in the system due to which this bill was generated by the department. However, there is a rule of re-checking of bills but the officials responsible have not checked it properly. Two clerks — Garun Kumar and Doj Kumar Devangan — were suspended for carelessness,” a senior officer of the department said.
A new bill of Rs 1,820 has been generated and given to the farmer, he added.
Opposition parties in the central state raised questions over the issue of inflated bills during the special session of the assembly held on September 24 and alleged that bills worth lakhs were being sent to Chhattisgarh farmers.
Local farmer leader Amitabh Pal said Prasad’s case was not a one-off issue.
“Many small farmers are getting inflated bills in Mahasamund district. When on Sunday, the news of Rs 76 crore broke, only then the department reached to some of the farmers and generated new bills. This is because of the carelessness of clerks in the department. We will launch a protest in the district against the inflated bills,” said Pal.