Gaya DM reins in private power distribution company [Patna] [Times of India]
(Times of India Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) GAYA: DM Sanjay Agrawal has finally intervened to rein in India Power, the private company responsible for power supply to Gaya, Bodh Gaya and Manpur areas of the district, following largescale complaints on account of long power cuts, wild voltage fluctuations and arbitrary billing. In order to regulate distribution, the private company will now have to seek the permission of the superintending engineer of the South Bihar Power Holding Company for any shutdown for over two hours.
Not only that. The superintending engineer will also intervene on behalf of power users for bill correction by the private company and a helpline is being established for the purpose. India Power, the Kolkata-based power company, assumed power distribution and billing responsibility with effect from June 1, 2014. The teething problems of the private company continue even after three months of the takeover. Officials had to face real embarrassment during CM Jitan Ram Manjhi's recent visit when generators had to be pressed into service at the CM's place at Mahkar village, part of the Manpur supply division.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the functioning of India Power, the DM said the performance of the company in the field of maintenance and billing left much to be desired and the company has to tone up things failing which it would be difficult to cater to the requirements of the power users.
With only a few days left for the beginning of Pitrapksha, the most important event of the Gaya calendar, the district administration is apparently worried on the power front. According to the DM, it was ironic that, despite getting adequate power from CLD, the town was facing problems on account of distribution bottlenecks. India Power was resorting to long power cuts on the alibi of maintenance. The DM also said abrupt billing complaints have also been received and the consumers feel harassed.
Power User Sangharsh Morcha leader Braj Nandan Pathak said fancy bills are being slapped without proper metre reading and even the bills say that metre reading has not been done. Demanding immediate stoppage of the arbitrary billing practice, Pathak said it was immoral as well as illegal on the part of the company to issue bills without proper metre reading.
Though India Power officials are reluctant to join issue with the district administration, sources say the private company has its own set of grievances including lack of cooperation from its predecessor. There is also a feeling in a section of the private company that agent saboteurs were active to discredit the company.
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