Alleging irregularities in the digital meters being installed by the Tata Power Central Odisha Distribution Ltd (TPCODL), the Puri District Congress Committee staged a demonstration in front of the Collectorate on Saturday.
The party leaders alleged that the TPCODL, a joint venture between Tata Power and the Odisha government, is forcing the consumers to change the electric meters. The company staff is forcibly entering the houses of consumers in the Piligrim town and disconnecting their power connection.
The Congress leaders further stated that the consumers are paying a heavy price due to faulty meters and there are irregularities in billings as well. “Odisha is a surplus electricity producing State. Hence, the government should provide the first 200 units free. But the way the State government is increasing the power tariff and the company officials are forcibly entering houses of people and harassing them is not justified,” said Congress leader, Binayak Das Mohapatra.
Mohapatra said that meters have been installed by the company without any testing. The electricity bills of many consumers have reached Rs 7,000 to Rs 8,000 and they are not in a position to pay their dues, he said.
Puri Collector, Samarth Verma said, “Following the grievances and allegations, a joint committee comprising executive officer Puri, Tata executive engineer and Civil Society members has been constituted. The committee will examine all grievances and develop a transparent system to address the information gap between the company and the consumers. The committee will submit a recommendation for implementation.”
Siba Prasad Swain, Executive Engineer, Puri Electricity Department said, “All the meters are being installed after testing at lab and are within accuracy limits. As per the CA Regulations 2006, all the mechanical meters should have been changed in the State. But during CESU period, it were not changed due to financial constraints.”
According to Swain, OERC has permitted the company to replace the electric meters. At present, all the meters having defects are being changed on priority basis. Bills are generated with exact date and time and we have set up a customer care to set up proper communication channel with consumers. We are conducting an operation clean and our squads are conducting inspections where the consumers are resorting to electricity theft and using extra power illegally.”
(Edited By Pradeep Singh)