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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Are Electricity Companies in Haryana like DHBVN adapting to unethical business practices?

Are Electricity Companies in Haryana like DHBVN adapting to unethical business practices?

Two Distribution Companies (DISCOM) viz. Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) and  Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) are engaged in distribution of electricity to the residents of Haryana. Various meedia reports have been appearing and reminds us of lot many consumers facing problems pertaining to exaggerated bills and apathy in getting their bills corrected and feedback is that the consumers are paying some money to get it corrected. Possibly that is the reason the bills are intentionally raised wrongly so that the consumers approach them for correction at a cost (bribe).
 A case study pertains to raising the bills on average basis due to absence of meter reading. Surprisingly the study is on the meter installed on the pole opposite the house.

1. Meter was installed on 02/11/2015 on the pole outside the house across the road. However DHBVN has been changing the meters at whims and fences even if the meters are functioning properly. May be possibility of scam in purchase of new and new meters.
2. The bill cycle normally is 60-61 days on two month basis.
3. While replacing the meter, the meter reading of the old meter was recorded. The date of replacement of the meter and mounting the same on pole was matching with 62 days billing cycle. Ideally the bill should have been raised as per normal billing cycle.
4. Surprisingly DHBVN did not raise the bill in the normal cycle of 60-61 days. Instead a bill was raised on 101 days with average consumption of past six months. The average consumption of past 6 months was excessive because of use of AC during the peak summer season. The next 32 days was not on AC use. Hence the bill was exaggerated. The main question arises as to why the bill was not raised on the due date as being adapted normally. The previous bill also entitled the consumer to get refund of the excess amount paid due to restructuring of tariff slabs by Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC). This amount has neither been refunded yet nor adjusted in the subsequent bills despite HERC order.Three bills have been generated subsequent to HERC order.
5. The bills are delivered  to the consumers just a day or two before the due date of payment so that the bills are paid hurriedly either without getting any correction or line up in queue with money in your hand to get the correction in the bill. The payment amounting to Rs. 12,672/-was made to DHBVN on 08/01/2016 under protest
6. Complaints made to the companies senior officials including their Managing Director remain unresolved even after 50 days. Meanwhile another bill generated on the average consumption basis. The bill was received just a day before the due date of payment. The due date of payment for the bill of Rs. 7,780/- was 26/02/2016.  This makes a total of Rs. 20,752/-
7. Again a complaint raised but remain unresolved. All senior officials like SDO, XEN, SE, MD remain silent and understand that the complaints have just been forwarded to the SDO who remain irresponsible. The senior officials seems to be dis-respecting the constitutionally enacted Consumer Protection Act, 1986 as well as Haryana State Electricity Regulatory Commission.
8. A meter reading was taken by the consumer himself on the day of receipt of the bill i.e 25/02/2016 and was shocked that the reading even has not reached to a level of generating the first bill due for payment on 08/01/2016. This is clearly evidencing that the company DHBVN has been resorting to collect interest free money amounting to tens of thousands from each consumers and enjoying such money. A question arises as to how the meter readers are being paid without taking meter reading. The payment to meter readers as specified is understood to be on "per reading basis". Why DHBVN is so aggressive on replacing meters even if they are functioning properly. If there is something beyond it?

While the case is being referred for legal adjudication at the risk and cost of DHBVN, the consumers are appealed to take up their case appropriately in case they are also facing similar complaints. For the information of those consumers who are in the habit of paying bribe to get meter reading corrected, the following would be of interest to them as the law mandates DHBVN to pay penalty to the consumer in case their billing complaints does not get resolved in the following time frame:
1. The billing complaints resolved to be within 24 hrs of the complaints if no additional is required to be obtained. The same has to be resolved within 7 days if any additional information is sought.
2. The electricity companies are to pay penalty to the affected consumer at the rate of Rs. 100/- per day of default subject to a maximum of Rs. 3,000/-.
3. The manner of payment of the penalty is automatic which means the consumer need not to demand.

Now in India even the mother do not feed the children unless demanded. Therefore we need to insist for the penalty to be paid in case we want best quality of services and discipline the companies like DHBVN.

An email as quoted below has been sent to Senior Officials SDO, XEN, SE, Director and Managing Director on 27/02/2016

"An article titled "Are Electricity Companies in Haryana like DHBVN adapting to unethical business practices?"​has appeared in my blog the link of which is http://skvirmani-jagograhak.blogspot.in/2016/02/are-electricity-companies-in-haryana.html

I am quite sure you would be eager to go through the article and would like to submit therein your comments/view if any.  I would be forwarding the link of the article along with your comments if any to other stakeholders in the Electricity Sector. At the same time I sincerely expect the DISCOM to take corrective action in disciplining its operation for best quality of services to the consumers of Haryana.



Next Post with some more interesting benchmark for Electricity Consumers

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