Madhya Pradesh: Consumers Cry Foul Over 'Inflated' Power Bills In Sendhwa

Madhya Pradesh: Consumers Cry Foul Over 'Inflated' Power Bills In Sendhwa

The villagers expressed their frustration and accused the power distribution company of exploiting them through the implementation of smart meters.

FP News ServiceUpdated: Thursday, February 08, 2024, 09:43 PM IST
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Madhya Pradesh: Consumers Cry Foul Over 'Inflated' Power Bills In Sendhwa | FP Photo

Sendhwa (Madhya Pradesh): Hundreds of consumers from Sendhwa and its adjoining villages rushed to the power distribution company office here and raised their voice after they were handed over electricity bills ranging from double to triple from the regular bills they used to get earlier. The villagers expressed their frustration and accused the power distribution company of exploiting them through the implementation of smart meters.

They demanded an explanation for the sudden increase in their electricity bills and called for a fair and transparent billing system. The villagers believe that the company is taking advantage of them by manipulating the readings on the smart meters. They demanded an investigation into the accuracy of the meters.

One of the consumers, Saurabh Pardeshi, said that he is a domestic consumer and he had deposited the bill on 25th of every month and now suddenly he was handed a bill of Rs 11,000. There is only one earning person in the house, there is not so much consumption as the bill was handed over, he claimed. "Many of us are struggling to understand how such a significant amount could be charged when our consumption levels have remained relatively stable," the consumers said.

Councillor of Ward No 24, Iqbal Shah, said that the people are getting worried about the electricity bill every day. This type of problem is occurring due to the smart meters and as a result of that, even the poor are getting bills ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 8,000. In such a situation, how will a poor man be able to pay these electricity bills, Shah asked.

When Iqbal was asked about his bill, he said that he too had been handed a bill of Rs 15,000. "In normal scenario, I used to get bills from Rs 2,400 to 2,500, but this month I got an electricity bill of Rs 15,000. We want the electricity company to remove smart meters, install old metres, and take metre readings manually," he said.

When contacted, junior engineer Yuvraj Avaya said bills are generated based on the consumption by taking readings online. Avaya explained that the installation of smart meters in January was intended to streamline the process of meter reading and billing. This transition eliminated the need for manual readings as the smart meters provide accurate consumption data online.

Avaya added that earlier bills were given to consumers in the middle of the month. Since last month, the department has been emphasising improving this system, and arrangements are being made to change the billing cycle from the first of every month. In such a situation, consumers feel that their meter reading has increased. "Our team is actively working on resolving this issue and will communicate with senior officials to find a suitable solution that meets the needs of our valued customers," Avaya added.

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