Users Brace Up To Pay Double The Amount Of Electricity Bill In The Coming Cycle
Mumbai : About 10 lakh island city power consumers of the BEST will have to brace themselves to pay nearly double the amount in the next billing cycle as they will have to pay arrears for enhanced security deposit.
This is because the BEST has woken up from deep slumber after two years and initiated a drive to collect the due increase in the security deposit following an order from Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) on 28 August 2013.
The electricity consumers will be charged an average of their 12-month bill and will be given a notice for the same along with their monthly bill. An official from BEST said, “An average of a year’s monthly bill will be charged as security deposit for the financial year along with the monthly bill.” This means if the annual bill is of Rs 12,000, then the average for a year will come to Rs 1,000, which the consumer will be charged as security deposit.
Shrikant Khedkar, Deputy General Manager (Electrical Supply) of BEST said, “In most cases there is certain deposit already made while taking the connection which will be deducted from this (the average) amount. The payment of the deposit will have to be made in a period of 30 days after receiving the notice failing which the power supply will be disconnected.”
“The order from MERC was after the Comptroller and Audit General of India (CAG) raised questions over the failure of the BEST in collecting the security deposit according to the revised rates for 2011-12 and 2012-13,” said an official from BEST.
Following the MERC order, the BEST initiated the process with its high-end consumers which included industrial and commercial users. A total recovery of Rs 45 crore has been made from 25,000 such consumers since June 2014 when the process was started. The consumers will be given an interest of 4 percent on the security deposit. The annual interest will be deducted in the monthly bill of February.