Puducherry

‘Inflated’ power bills rile residents

Residents of Uppalam staging a protest in front of the Electricity Department against the discrepancies in power bills after smart meters were installed in their homes.

Residents of Uppalam staging a protest in front of the Electricity Department against the discrepancies in power bills after smart meters were installed in their homes.   | Photo Credit: T_Singaravelou

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MLA slams officials for ignoring complaints; engineer says he has asked his staff to look into the matter

A section of residents of Uppalam on Monday staged a demonstration in front of the Electricity Department to protest against “inflated” power bills.

Holding copies of power bills, residents shouted slogans against the government for installing defective meters. The “smart meters” installed recently threw up several discrepancies in the readings, they alleged. Power bill of several residents ranged between ₹750 and ₹4,000, they alleged.

A resident said he received a bill for ₹750 for May while it was only ₹250 in April.

AIADMK leader A. Anbalgan, who represents constituency, said most residents in the locality were poor people.

The hefty electricity bills would drain their financial resources.

He also criticised the department staff for not attending to the complaints made by the residents two days ago. The government should withdraw the hike imposed in April.

D. Ravi, superintendent engineer, circle 1, electricity department, told The Hindu that the newly installed smart meters are 15 to 20% more efficient than the old ones. “I have asked my staff to individually verify the complaints made by the consumers,” he said.

Grid control centre

The setting up of the Smart Grid Control Centre in two or three months would help staff monitor real time power usage. If there were anomalies in the reading, it could be detected quickly, he added.

Around 15,000 old meters have been replaced with smart meters.

Around 20,000 more meters have to be replaced. These meters would be integrated with the control centre.

Ruling out any fault in meters, he said the government’s decision to increase power tariff by 9.9% in April would have naturally pushed up the bill amount.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 11:14:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/inflated-power-bills-rile-residents/article24256645.ece

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