Nation Current Affairs 22 Feb 2022 Huge power bills sho ...

Huge power bills shock north TS consumers

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DC CORRESPONDENT
Published Feb 22, 2022, 11:56 pm IST
Updated Feb 23, 2022, 8:56 am IST
Majority of the consumers received bills ranging from Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 and a few received bills ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000
Domestic consumers in North Telangana districts were shocked after receiving bills ranging from Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 for February against Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 they used to pay all these days. (DC file photo)
 Domestic consumers in North Telangana districts were shocked after receiving bills ranging from Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 for February against Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 they used to pay all these days. (DC file photo)

HYDERABAD: Electricity consumers under Telangana State Northern Power Distribution Company Limited (TSNPDCL) limits received exorbitant bills for February as officials levied development charges and security deposits amounting to thousands of rupees. Domestic consumers in North Telangana districts were shocked after receiving bills ranging from Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 for February against Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 they used to pay all these days.

The inflated bills are leading to tussle between owners and tenants in rented houses in North Telangana districts as tenants are holding owners responsible for this and are refusing to pay higher power bills.

Power officials, on the other hand, blame consumers for higher
power bills saying that they used more power putting increased connection load than contracted meter load for which the power connection was originally given.

Consumers in undivided Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar and Warangal districts are the worst affected. A consumer L. Surya Prakash Reddy in Akkapur village in Nirmal rural mandal in Nirmal district consumed 45 units of power from January 13 to February 15 and was charged Rs 65.25 as energy charges, which is normal. However, the total amount due shown at the bottom of the bill came as a rude shock to him at Rs 2,417. Scrutiny of the bill revealed that Rs 2,124 was billed under the head 'development charges' and Rs 200 as 'security deposit'.

This is not just an isolated case. Majority of the consumers in these districts received bills ranging from Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 and a few received bills ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000.

All the offices of TSNPDCL in these districts are flooded with consumers who are rushing to officials to check the reasons for getting inflated bills all of a sudden. The offices are witnessing heated arguments between officials and consumers. Consumers are staging dharnas in front of electricity offices.

While the officials are justifying higher bills saying that they have used more power putting more connection load than contracted meter load, the end-users who are not aware of these technical details, or of the violation, as the power connections are most often obtained by builders or contractors or building owners, who contract lesser loads in order to save money, are not convinced with officials' clarification.

Development charges are collected to recover the cost of laying power lines and are usually fixed for each consumer based on the contracted loads. As of now, for every single kilowatt of energy requires payment of Rs 1,200. While as a rule, the loads should be contracted based on the number of electricity appliances and connections in a household or commercial establishment, it is often violated.

Officials say for a single-phase connection, 2 KW is the minimum load to be contracted, and for a three-phase, a minimum of 3 KW. However, nowadays, consumers are connecting up to 6 KW of loads on a single KW of contracted load. Even educated people are not aware of these technical issues let alone illiterates and semi-literates residing in rural and remote areas. Officials say most of the meter connections were given for consumption of power to use bulbs, tube lights and fans but consumers are using for TVs, heaters, geysers, washing machines, ACs, due to which load on meter has increased. This will impact transmission of power and supplies as existing lines cannot cope up with the increased load and new power lines need to be laid and for this, development charges and security deposits are being collected.

Officials said they were inspecting LT commercial and domestic connections to assess connected loads. Wherever connected loads are more than contracted loads, additional development charges and security deposits are being levied, they say.

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Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad




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