|April 19, 2014 at 10:14 am #5319|
Questioning why locals should suffer for wrong planning on the part of the state government, about 40 residents of Bethora-Nirancal-Conxem village panchayat gheraoed and confronted the assistant engineer (AE) of the electricity department, Tayyab Zafar Sayad, at his Curti-Ponda office on Thursday.
Sayad, an AE of the department’s commercial wing that deals with consumer billing, was confronted for “delayed and excessive billing”. The group led by former sarpanch Madhu Khandeparkar demanded scrapping of outsourcing the billing work and resuming the earlier regular billing system.
Khandeparkar brought to Sayad’s notice that they are getting lump sum bills of five months which are quite difficult for the villagers to pay at one go.
Power officials suggested that they pay bills in installments, but it could add on some interest over the balance unpaid amount of bills. Locals also expressed displeasure over the installment system as they need to pay interest for no mistake of the consumers.
“The government needs to issue bills every month and if it delays, there should be an interest-free installment system,” Khandeparkar said.
Locals also criticized chief minister Manohar Parrikar, stating that he had assured people he would abolish the contract system but in fact he has allotted the billing on contract to a third party. Now this third party delays billing and people suffer for the contractor’s mistake.
Source/Reference: Times of India, “Bethora locals gherao engineer for delayed, excessive power bills“