Consumer Grievance Redressal Forums (CGRF) have been constituted in all the 39 distribution circles of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) across the State for fast and time-bound redressal of consumer grievances, the Secretary, Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission R. Balasubramanian said on Monday.
The CGRFs will take up complaints in billing; those relating to giving new service connection; replacement of meter; name transfer; change of tariff and complaints relating to shifting of service/meter, Mr. Balasubramanian, who is also the designated State Electricity Ombudsman told reporters in the city.
He made it clear that the CGRFs would not take up cases of theft of energy and unauthorised power usage.
A three-member body headed by the TNEB Superintending Engineer, the CGRF comprises two other members –one with a legal background and the other a consumer activist – nominated by the respective District Collector.
Stating that the CGRF was a statutory forum constituted under the Electricity Act 2003, Mr. Balasubramanian said as many as 1,497 cases had been registered in the forum from 2006 to March 2009.
The forums had disposed of 1,304 cases up to March 2009, he added.
The Ombudsman had received petitions sent to it for higher appeal, he said adding that it (Ombudsman) had registered over 100 cases from 2006 to November 2009 and disposed of 82 cases.
Mr. Balasubramanian said that the Electricity Act, 2003 had empowered the power consumers with lot of rights and facilitated statutory mechanisms for fast and time-bound redressal of consumer grievances.
Awareness of forum
The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission had embarked on the task of organising meetings in each distribution region in the State with the twin aims of educating the TNEB officers regarding the procedure for redressal of grievances and the implications of delay in disposal of cases as well as to create awareness among consumers about their rights under the Electricity Act, 2003 and to enlighten them about the forum to which they should take up their grievances with.
The Commission had already conducted programmes at Vellore to cover Vellore, Dharmapuri, Kancheepuram and Tirupattur distribution circles and at Madurai to cover Dindigul, Madurai, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga and Theni distribution circles, said Mr. Balasubramanian. He was here to speak at a seminar on “Protection of Consumer Interest under Electricity Act 2003” organised by the Commission.
Mr. Balasubramanian spoke about the changing scenarios in the wake of the Electricity Act 2003.
He stressed the necessity for the TNEB officials to change their mindset to meet the new situation and the consequences for failing to adhere to the prescribed standards. He had separate interaction with the consumers to sensitise them on their rights under the new Act and Regulations and the quantum of compensation in case of default.
The Chief Engineer, TNEB, Tiruchi Region, R. Sitharaman, Superintending Engineer, Tiruchi Metro K. Venkatraman and other senior officials participated.