Replace faulty meters, DVB told

NEW DELHI, APRIL 29. The Public Grievances Commission Member, Mr. Hari Shankar Gupta, has urged the Delhi Government to ensure that the Delhi Vidyut Board takes immediate measures either to replace or repair faulty electric meters.

Flooded with complaints, Mr. Gupta, in a letter to the Chief Minister, Ms. Sheila Dikshit, complained that the DVB's drive to book consumers on the plea that their meters are ``faulty or tampered with'' had become a nightmare for thousands of genuine consumers.

Arguing that it was DVB's responsibility to ensure these meters were not tampered with or became defective, Mr. Gupta said: ``Consumers cannot be penalised for DVB's fault''. He urged Ms. Dikshit to have a fresh review of the entire drive as the Commission, of late, had been receiving a large number of complaints from harassed consumers.

``The drive needs to be reviewed in the light of the growing public unrest due to its poor handling by DVB and absence of any safeguard,'' he said.

Mr. Gupta said under the drive a team of five or six DVB officials inspect electricity meter of a consumer. ``The electricity is disconnected immediately if one does not pay the hefty penalty in a few day's time. Prior to such inspections or raids, the DVB does not care about its responsibility to apprise the consumer on any occasion about any kind of fault or defect in the meter,'' he said.

Mr. Gupta argued that it was the responsibility of the DVB to replace, repair or maintain such meters which were installed years before by them.

He demanded that before any such raid at least one inspection be carried out and a written report submitted to the consumer suggesting action to be taken. ``The DVB should ensure immediate action to repair or replace such meters found defective and give an OK report to the consumers,'' he said. ``Once this is done, it can conduct raids and punish the guilty.''

He also suggested that the meter reader be provided with extra staff to issue inspection reports at the time of noting down the readings at least once a month.

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