Andhra Pradesh Government urged to rectify inflated power bills
- Praja Science Vedika state chief says bills issued by discoms on ‘pro-rata’ basis are imposing severe financial burden on the customers
- People are being forced to pay 70-80% per cent higher tariff due to so-called dynamic billing method adopted by the discoms
Anantapur: Praja Science Vedika state president Dr M.Suresh Babu demanded Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to take necessary steps for immediate correction of 'erroneous bills' by the power distribution companies (discoms).
The electricity bills should be recalculated on the basis of actual number of days and as per slabs removing mischievous 'pro rata' basis, he said in a statement on Saturday. Power distribution companies have charged consumers excess amounts for March and April. As people stayed at home in April, there was a drastic increase in power consumption during the month. "The increase is about 15 million units (MU) per day. On the other hand, industrial and commercial consumption did not cross 20 per cent last month," he said.
The energy department has decided to write letters to all 1.45 crore consumers in the state to dispel misconception on electricity bills generated for March and April. The electricity department has drawn flak after issuing electricity bills for 73 days together as no bills were issued for consumption in March due to the lockdown.
Following public outrage, Suresh stated that the state government deferred the due date to pay bills till June 30 without late fee or disconnection of service. The energy department has calculated the bills based on two tariff orders. While the bill for March was calculated according to the old tariff order, the April bill was calculated according to the new order that decides the slab on a dynamic basis based on consumption. As per the new tariff all the customers will come into Group C, those who consumed more than 225 units during the billing month.
The bill collector has not given bill since March 9, 2020. All the customers were asked to pay March electricity bill in April 2020. Now the revenue collectors have taken electricity bill for March at 90 units, April 110 units and May up to billing date 40 units which amount to 240 units. If total bill units is greater than 240 units, definitely the consumer will fall into Group C tariff for 240 units @ 7.10 which amount to 1,704 plus customer charges Rs 100, electricity cess of Rs 15, taking the total to 1,850 which is highly ridiculous, said Suresh Babu.
If the bills were issued properly in April and May the customer may have paid Rs 300 for the month of March and Rs 500 for the month of April and May which amounts to Rs 800 or Rs 1,000.
Hence, Praja Science Vedika urged the government to rollback the decision taken by APSPDCL, EPDCL, CPDCL and RESCO and issue separate electricity bills for April and May months and the same old tariff may be applied till lockdown is lifted.