Udaipur : Pemaram Mana Dangi, a peasant in Gingla of Salumber block in Udaipur district has become an overnight sensation. His cell phone hasn’t stopped ringing for two days now after a copy of his electricity bill happened to float on social media. Ajmer Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd as well as the state government are being trolled for their insensitivity and negligence. The power department charged a whooping 3,71,61,507 rupees for August bill which had to be paid by 3rd September.
When the shocked customer contacted the power supply office, he breathed some relief when the officials told him that it was a misprint and a new bill of some 6 thousand rupees has been generated after corrections. However, it is not just Pemaram. Another villager Shankarlal Pandey too received a bill demanding 1.71 lakh rupees against power consumption for two months. Assistant Revenue Officer of Salumber circle Mahendra Kumar said there had been some billing errors and misprints due to technical fault which are being rectified. Pemaram’s bill was generated by default which was not meant to be served to the customer however, by mistake, it reached him. Meanwhile, BJP leaders are vehemently protesting the inflated electircity bills which are being widely reported from many villages.
“The congress government is making power bill a tool to loot the poor public. The electricity department is working with eyes shut and sending bills that have become an eyesore for the people. If they dont mend their ways, we will resort to mass agitation” says ChandraShekhar Joshi, BJP district president (rural). Meanwhile, Gingla Up-Sarpanch NathuBhai Kolawat says its not the only instance as many households in the panchayat have received exaggerated bills which is four to five times higher than their average bills. At another panchayat Kharka, the UpSarpanch said people are making rounds to the AEN office for clarifications but the officials have turned deaf ears.
In UDaipur city too, worried customers complain of excessive billing. Meanwhile, Superintendent Engineer (O&M) Udaipur Girish Joshi said the department has held camps at all circle offices and is still hearing all grievances regarding inflated bills. “During lockdown we did the provisional billing because we didnt have permission to conduct physical meter readings and generate actual bills. We charged them as per the winter months average while its a well known fact that summer bills are hefty due to more consumption compared to winter season.
Plus, there has been a tariff increase since February which too is a reason for some hike” Joshi told Udaipur Kiran. Now when the meters are being read physically, the difference in units calculated earlier,too is being added to the current bill. The officer said that the officials have been asked to pacify all the customers turning up at the circle offices with their billing grievances.