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Rashmi Rekha Das

Of late, Tata Power has been accused of extorting its consumers through different means. The company has reportedly failed to clarify the grounds under which it is making its consumers pay.

Recently, it came to the fore how Tata Power is allegedly exploiting its consumers through pro rata billing. And now goes some of the evidence of clear-cut 'cheating' made by Tata Power in the name of providing non-stop power supply.

Let’s take a look at the electricity bill of Padmalochan Dhal, a textile shop owner of Baniapada in Kendrapara district. Dhal is made to pay extra under MFC, CUST and ED charges when consumers like Dhal has no idea about MFC, CUST and ED charges. Not just Dhal, every consumer of Tata Power is made to pay under MFC, CUST and ED charges. 

Anil Prakash Dhal, a businessman from Kendrapada said, “CUST and ED charges are added in our electricity bill. We are clueless for how many years we will have to pay for those charges.”

Biswanath Behera, a resident of Dhenkanal, said, “Apart from electricity charges, I am paying for customer charges and ED charges which have become a headache for me. The company is making me pay Rs 60, Rs 59 and Rs 144 under many heads.”

Even after a consumer pays for meter during electricity connectivity, the company allegedly makes its customers to pay meter rent for years. Meanwhile, customers resented the discrepancies made by Tata Power across the state.

Taking consumers’ complaints against Tata Power seriously, the Standing Committee of Energy of State Assembly has, meanwhile, expressed its discontentment and assured the consumers to sort out their issues in Energy Courts.

Subrat Tarai, chairman of the Standing Committee of Energy, said, "Issues related to inflated bills and energy related affairs will be sorted out at district level meeting in the presence of Tata Power authorities."

Energy analyst Anand Mohapatra said, “If a consumer installs an electricity meter from his pocket, DICOMS cannot make him pay meter rent. If DISCOM installs a meter, it is authorised to take meter rent for five years. On completion of five years’ of meter installation, the company stops taking meter rent.” 

Bhaskar Sarkar, CEO of Tata Power said, “Ours is a regulated business. Tata Power is not exploiting or extracting extra penny from its customers.”

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