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Assam: Irate locals complaint to APDCL over high electricity bills, CM directs department to fix faulty meters

Assam: Irate locals complaint to APDCL over high electricity bills, CM directs department to fix faulty meters

Inflated electricity bills generated by the Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) have aggravated the woes of residents in the State post the installation of smart reading meters and this has not gone well within the BJP-ruled state government.

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Representative image of electricity meter Representative image of electricity meter

Inflated electricity bills generated by the Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) have aggravated the woes of residents in the State post the installation of smart reading meters and this has not gone well within the BJP-ruled state government.

Reacting to the same Assam Chief Minister took to his Twitter handle wrote, "There has been no hike in power tariff but instances of unreasonable bill amounts have come in from consumers which is due to faulty readings in some of the newly installed smart meters. Instructed  @apdclsocial to urgently fix the faulty smart meters and address public grievances."

On the other hand, state minister Pijush Hazarika, Minister of Water Resources, Information & Public Relations speaking to the media said, "We have noticed technical glitches in the smart meters in some places, and APDCL has also issued a press statement."

Further, the minister added that wherever there is a sudden hike in power bills all the readings will be re-done and address the issue.

"If we see there is only 5 per cent increase in tariff hike which may be related to increases in oil and gas price in the international market which again is impacting the power bills".

Notably, the minister assured that in the coming 2-3 months the power tariff will come done. 

Speaking to the India Today NE, Rajiv Choudhury (name changed), a resident of the Pub Sarania area said, "I was shocked to see the inflated electricity bill for this month. Even though I have rental accommodation in my complex, the majority of tenants (mostly students) have not been staying since the post-lockdown. 

In normal summer seasons, I paid bills between Rs 10,000 and Rs 12,000 during this part of the year. But I recently received a bill of Rs 15,000 for the month of July. I cannot believe this bill amount and some gross mistakes must have been committed by the APDCL."

Choudhury said that he has already lodged a complaint against the bill amount and made a plea to re-check the smart meter installed at his house. "So far the APDCL has not responded," he said. 

Similar was the case with Saidul Hussain (name changed) in the Hatigaon area. He received a bill of Rs 12,000 in June. Hussain was not convinced and immediately approached the higher-ups at APDCL. When the meter reader re-checked the digital meter at Hussain's house, it was found that an excess of 1,000 units of power was being consumed, as calculated in the bill. Mistakes were rectified and Hussain's bill amount came down to Rs 5,000.

It is to mention here that, earlier this year the state government altered the majority of the electricity meters with smart meters with the aim to go digital and less hassle-free while serving consumers with appropriate and correct power bills directly to their phones.