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Home News Power Sector News Mumbai - To make up for Rs 21L power bill, woman gets Rs 43L credit

Mumbai - To make up for Rs 21L power bill, woman gets Rs 43L credit

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BESTIt was a double shocker for 85-year-old Taramati Gosalia, who first received an inflated electricity bill of Rs 21 lakh from the BEST in February 2010, and recently got a credit refund of Rs 43 lakh. The senior citizen, who lives in King's Circle, has been running from pillar to post for the past two years after receiving several inflated electricity bills. When she received a bill for Rs 21 lakh in February 2010, Gosalia put her foot down and refused to pay. However, instead of looking into her complaint, BEST deducted Rs 1.93 lakh from her nephew's registered bank.

After repeated complaint to the mayor and BEST committee chairperson, the electricity company finally decided to compensate her for her troubles by giving her a credit fund. However, a few months back, when Gosalia got her electricity bill, she was in for another shock-the credit refund extended to her by the corporation was a whooping Rs 43 lakh.

While the refund was not in cash, Gosalia can consume electricity worth that amount forever. "I don't need Rs 43 lakh credit as mentioned in the bill," said Gosalia. "Just give me back the Rs 1.93 lakh which was debited from the registered bank account as interest last year," she said.

Gosalia approached BEST committee member Ravi Raja earlier this week and apprised him of the series of goof-ups committed by BEST since February 2009. Raja then raised the issue at the committee meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

BEST general manager Om Prakash Gupta has ordered an inquiry into the matter. Committee chairperson Sunil Shinde said, "This could be an isolated case. But it is a serious matter and needs to be probed. We will find the officials responsible for the goof-up."

Raja, however, said the committee cannot dismiss the case as an isolated incident. "The woman has been receiving inflated bills of Rs 2,500, Rs 3,000 and above since February 2009. In October 2009, her meter was replaced and she got no bills for four months. But suddenly, in February 2010, she was slapped with a bill of Rs 21 lakhs."

Raja added, "After complaining, the amount was reduced to Rs 6.91 lakhs in May 2010. When she did not pay the money, an interest amount was deducted." Raja said that the Gosalia was honest and did not want to pursue any legal case against BEST.

Raja said, "All she wants is her money back and no more harassment from the electricity department."

After the meeting, Raja told TOI that there could be several citizens in the island city (Sion to Colaba) who are being harassed with inflated power bills. "If there is any such case, it should be brought before committee members," he said.

One such bill in February 2010 was to the tune of Rs 21 lakhs. When she refused to pay the sum, the BEST promptly deducted Rs 1.93 lakh from her nephew's registered bank account in August 2010, leaving her shell shocked.

After repeated complaints to the mayor and BEST committee chairperson, the electricity company finally decided to compensate for her troubles by giving her a credit refund. A couple of months back, to her utter surprise, the credit refund mentioned in her bill (in bold letters) was nothing less than Rs 43 lakhs!

The refund was not in cash, but she could consume electricity worth that amount forever. "I dont need Rs 43 lakhs refund as wrongly mentioned in the bill,'' said Gosalia, who stays at King Circle in Matunga. "Just give me back Rs 1.93 lakhs which was debited from a registered bank account as interest last year,'' she stated.

Fed up by the harassment, she approached BEST committee member Ravi Raja earlier this week and apprised him about the series of mistakes committed by BEST since February 2009. Raja raised the issue at the committee meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

BEST general manager Om Prakash Gupta, who was taken aback, ordered an inquiry. Committee chairperson Sunil Shinde said, "This could be an isolated case. But it is a serious matter and needs to be probed. We will find out the officials responsible for the goof-up."

Raja, however, said the committee cannot dismiss the case as an isolated incident. "The woman has been receiving inflated bills of Rs 2,500, Rs 3,000 and above since February 2009. In October 2009, her meter was replaced and she got no bills for four months. But suddenly, in February, 2010, she was slapped a bill of Rs 21 lakhs.

"After complaining, the amount was reduced to Rs 6.91 lakhs in May 2010,'' he said, adding, "When she did not pay the money, an interest amount was deducted." Raja said the old widow was honest and did not want to pursue any legal case against BEST. "All she wants is her money back and no more harassment from the electricity department."

After the meeting, Raja told TOI that there could be several citizens in the island city (Sion to Colaba) who are being harassed with inflated power bills. "If there is any such case, it should be brought before committee members,'' he stated.

Source- Times of India

 

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