Inflated electricity bills shock film, TV actorsUpdated: Jun 29, 2020, 01:02 IST
After many citizens complained of receiving ‘inflated bills’ in June, Bollywood and TV personalities also took to social media on Sunday and stated that they were shocked a see a massive surge in their power bills.
Actor Taapsee Pannu on Sunday said that she received a bill of ₹36,000 in June – a sharp surge from her May and April bills of ₹3,850 and ₹4,390, respectively. “3 months of lockdown and I wonder what appliance(s) I have newly used or bought in the apartment only last month to have such an insane rise in my electricity bill. @Adani_Elec_Mum what kind of POWER r u charging us for? (sic),” she tweeted. Pannu also claimed that the said apartment is vacant, which she visits only once a week.
Actor Dino Morea also took to Twitter to complain about the bill he received. “Literally got a shock, pun intended. There was no surge in electricity, just the bill. @Adani_Elec_Mum,” the actor tweeted.
Meanwhile, comedian Vir Das asked citizens in Mumbai if they too have received a bill that is three times more than what they usually pay. In reply to his tweet, actor Ashish Chowdhry tweeted, “Gosh I did. And yes, three times. It’s a massive jump. Went and checked all the geysers in the house if they were on for a month @TataPower.”
TV actor Saumya Tandon claimed that she received a bill of ₹28,000, as against other months, during which she gets bills worth an average of ₹8,000.
Over the past one week, citizens across the state expressed shock over their recent bills stating a two to three-fold jump when compared to the previous months’ amounts.
Distribution companies, however, maintained that there have been no errors.
Power officials said that as actual meter-reading was suspended since March-end owing to the lockdown, consumers were sent bills as per the average usage of December, January and February. However, consumption is on the higher side in March, April and May, owing to the summer season, combined with the lockdown during which citizens are confined to their homes and so consumers would have utilised more power.
Following Pannu’s complaint on Twitter, an Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited (AEML) spokesperson said, “Upon receipt of the complaint, we have verified the meter reading and found (it) to be correct.”
A spokesperson from AEML said, “This rise in electricity consumption has been witnessed by household consumers of all utilities due to the lockdown, and enhanced power consumption patterns was observed among such consumers. In some segments, power consumption has increased by two-three-fold.”
In a statement released this week, Tata Power stated, “Tata Power would like the consumers to look for such lifestyle changes while reflecting over last 3 months of lockdown and compare it with lifestyle pre lockdown or last year same months.”
AEML and Tata power supply power in parts of the city.
The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL), which received thousands of complaints, also set-up consumer grievance cells in all its offices to address queries.
State will seek funds from Centre for MSEDCL
State energy minister Nitin Raut on Sunday said that the government will soon write to the Centre seeking funds for MSEDCL. Earlier this week, Raut had stated that the state electricity distribution company suffered losses of more than ₹3,500 crore owing to lack of meter-reading and non-payment of actual usage charges during the lockdown. Apart from this, MSEDCL has also suffered losses owing to Cyclone Nisarga that damaged several cables and electric poles in the state, officials said.