A day after protests over ‘inflated’ electricity bills for June, State energy minister Nitin Raut on Tuesday assured lakhs of consumers in Maharashtra that the bills, some of which ranged from Rs 8,000 to Rs 20,000, could be paid in EMIs. Raut also said if there was any fault in meter reading for the June bill or any inaccuracy in bill computation, or if a wrong bill had been dispatched, the same would be rectified by MSEDCL officials after a proper check.
The minister said details of EMI payment were available at the local MSEDCL office. “Consumers can also check the link https://billcal.mahadiscom.in/consumerbill to get detailed information on how they were charged for April-May-June electricity bills,” Raut said.
Raut’s statement comes a day after scores of electricity consumers across the Mumbai metropolitan region raised a hue and cry over the huge power bills they had received for June, which were four to eight times the normal bill expected during summer.
Power utility firms said the June bills are based on “actual meter readings” for the past three summer months. Meter readings were suspended during the lockdown. But many consumers alleged that post-reading calculations in the June bill were “inaccurate” and “abnormally high”.
On Tuesday, consumer representatives also told TOI they would file a petition before Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) this week, seeking an order to give consumers of all power firms, including BEST, Tata Power and Adani Electricity, the benefit of monthly installments to pay June bills. They would also request MERC to look into the grievance of individual consumers who had got “inflated bills.”
“These citizens, many of whom are impacted by the lockdown as well, should get relief with an equated monthly installment payment scheme. Also, their grievances should be redressed,” said MERC consumer representative Ashok Pendse.
The rush of consumers at the power firm offices across the Mumbai metropolitan region continued on Tuesday as they sought an explanation for the high bills.
A few consumers informed this newspaper on Tuesday that some political parties had approached them and were likely to take up the issue. Leader of opposition in the state assembly Devendra Fadnavis, in a letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, has pointed out that owing to the lockdown, consumers have been excessively billed by electricity distribution companies.
MSEDCL officials said there was “nothing wrong” in computing the high bills as it was based on past dues which had to be recovered for the summer months.
(With inputs from timesofindia)