We received 48,000 complaints, resolved 95%, says Adani CEOUpdated: Jul 06, 2020 23:48 IST
Over the last month, the Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited (AEML), the largest power distributor in Mumbai, received 48,000 complaints on inflated power bills. Adani officials, however, said that only 2,111 complaints need a re-validation.
In a press conference addressed by the group‘s chief executive officer (CEO) on Monday, AEML said that it had anticipated that there will be complaints about the bills and had also intimidated consumers about it when actual meter-reading began on June 1.
Kandarp Patel, CEO, AEML said, “We had intimated consumers via messages and email that there will be an increase in billing later owing to the lockdown and suspension of actual meter-reading. In 2019, we had observed a 33% difference in consumption between the winter and summer months. This year, owing to the lockdown, there has been a 50% difference in consumption.” Patel also said that around 11,300 and 35,120 readings were received from customers in April and May respectively
Owing to the lockdown, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) had asked utilities to suspend meter-reading. For March-May, consumers were being billed on an average of the December, January and February months. Many consumers, including Bollywood actors, took to Twitter to complain about being charged excessively.
“95% of the complaints have been addressed and there has not been a single bill which was wrong so far,” said Paresh Chaudhry, group president - corporate brand custodian, Adani Group. The company now has a recovery due of almost ₹750 crore. Almost 6.7 lakh consumers have not paid their bills in the last one month, Patel added. He also said that if consumers were billed as per 2019’s consumption in March, April and May, it would have been better, however, power regulations restrict billing, in such case, to calculate as per the presiding three months.
As a measure towards removing human intervention from meter reading, the distributor is also looking at installing seven lakh meters in the city by March 2022. Meanwhile, on Monday, AEML also termed remarks of a Bollywood actor against the group on Twitter as “derogatory and irresponsible”. According to AEML, the actor had recently posted an April 2019 bill to complain of high electricity bills and used derogatory remarks. The actor, however, later deleted the tweet.