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LESA resorts to ?loads? trick

UNABLE TO meet its revenue targets, the Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (LESA) has now embarked upon an ?extortion? drive. In what is being seen as the height of arbitrariness, LESA officials have increased the power load of thousands of electricity consumers to 3 KW without the consumers even being aware of it, in the Circle-3 comprising localities like Aishbag, Alambagh, Kanpur Road and others. The ground slipped off their feet when they got inflated bills a few days back. The nonplussed consumers are now doing rounds of LESA offices but no body is telling them to their satisfaction as to why their load has been increased from 1 or 2 KW to 3 KW.

india Updated: Mar 23, 2006 00:06 IST

UNABLE TO meet its revenue targets, the Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (LESA) has now embarked upon an ‘extortion’ drive.

In what is being seen as the height of arbitrariness, LESA officials have increased the power load of thousands of electricity consumers to 3 KW without the consumers even being aware of it, in the Circle-3 comprising localities like Aishbag, Alambagh, Kanpur Road and others. The ground slipped off their feet when they got inflated bills a few days back. The nonplussed consumers are now doing rounds of LESA offices but no body is telling them to their satisfaction as to why their load has been increased from 1 or 2 KW to 3 KW.

For example, RK Bhasin a resident of Aishbagh Colony was at his wit’s end when he got a bill of Rs 2015 because his monthly bill never exceeded Rs 400-500.

When he scrutinised the bill, he found to his dismay that he had been charged Rs 1625 extra as other charges. When he contacted LESA local office, he was told that his connection load had been increased from 1 KW to three KW and Rs 1625 included system loading charges, processing fee, etc besides fixed charges which are to be paid at the rate of Rs 50 per KW load. The same happened with Ekta Gulati, Avnish Kumar and AK Arora.

Many consumers were seen engaged in heated arguments with officials at LESA’s revenue collection centres. Many of them said that they lived in a single room house and used only fans and bulbs and disputed increase of their load.

According to one consumer, LESA staff admitted to him that the load enhancement scheme had been initiated to increase revenue collection. LESA officials, on the other hand, pleaded that load had been increased on the basis of consumption pattern of the consumers having been observed during last three months.

Significantly, however, under the Electricity Distribution Code, consumers are permitted to use double the connected load. It means if a domestic consumer has 2 KW load connection, he could use electricity upto 4 KW without getting his connection load increased to 3 or 4 KW.

Interestingly, it is not for the first time when LESA has resorted to this illegal method of jacking its revenue. Only a few months back, an over-enterprising LESA’s Circle-3 DGM. SC Sharma had given news paper notices asking consumers with 1 and 2 KW load to get the load enhanced to 3 KW. However, the notice was later withdrawn after the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) objected to it, terming the whole exercise as illegal, when UP Rajya Vidyut Upbhokta Parishad made a complaint to it. Now, power load has arbitrarily been increased in the Circle headed by the same DGM!

First Published: Mar 23, 2006 00:06 IST