The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission has proposed that electricity consumers who are aggrieved by the non-compliance of the standards of service by the licensee can make a written claim to the area engineer of the licensee and the engineer will take a decision on the claim.
Now, the licensee has to pay the compensation to the affected consumer automatically if there is non-compliance of any standard.
According to the proposed amendment, the area engineer will take a decision on the claim made by the consumer and inform him in 30 days from the date of receipt of the claim. The compensation will be paid through credit entry in the next electricity charge bill within 90 days from the date of the claim.
Objecting to the proposed amendment, secretary of Coimbatore Consumer Cause K. Kathirmathiyon has said that it was against the interest of the consumers. The amendment should be withdrawn and the licensee should pay the compensation automatically, he said.
The licensee had failed to provide compensation to the eligible, affected consumers on several instances though there was the provision to pay it automatically. “In fact, even the TNERC’s directive to pay compensation in respect of providing new connections was never followed,” he said.
The commission should have made it mandatory for the licensee to pay the compensation on its own. All the consumers might not be aware of the rules or norms of standards and the compensation for non-compliance. However, the licensee will be aware of it. If the commission made it mandatory for the licensee to pay the compensation on its own, the consumers will benefit.
The consumer organisation has been asking for automatic payment of the compensation for failure of compliance with the standards without any demand or claim from the consumer. If the consumer had to make a claim the compensation amount should be increased by at least 30 per cent, he said.