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PSPCL penalised for faulty meter
The Tribune, July 8, 2019

Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has been penalised for installing a faulty electricity meter, which was found running fast.

In the case, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Mohali, has issued directions to the PSPCL authorities to settle the bill amount of around five months (from September 2016 to February 7, 2017) on an average basis. It has also been asked to pay a compensation of Rs 20,000 and litigation expenses of Rs 5,000 to Zirakpur-based complainant Mukesh Gupta.

In his complaint filed before the forum, Gupta stated that the electricity meter, installed in his house, was faulty as it was found running at high speed. The fault had come to light when the complainant had received an electricity bill showing excessive consumption of units in January 2017. On Gupta’s application in regard to repair of the electricity meter, a lineman was deputed to inquire into the matter. The official had submitted his report in favour of Gupta.

It was also found that during two days, when the lineman was enquiring the matter, the electricity consumption was 136 units, which was said to be ‘not possible’ in such a short term. As per the complainant, he had deposited Rs 120 as ‘checking fee’ following which the authorities issued order on January 30, 2017 for replacement of the meter within two days.

Gupta stated that despite the order for the replacement of the meter, it remained there till February 7, 2017 and showed further consumption of 901 units in the next eight days.

Gupta, who had also approached the Disputes Settlement Committee in this connection, was asked to deposit 20 per cent of the disputed amount and as such he had deposited Rs 7,160 on April 19, 2017.

Besides allowing compensation and cost of litigation, the forum ordered the opposite party to recover the bill amount from the complainant for the period (from September 2016 to February 7, 2017) on an average basis by taking into consideration the consumption of the preceding period of six months, calculated from September 2016. The OP has also been directed to adjust the amount, already paid by the complainant.

The complaint

It was also found that during two days, when the lineman was enquiring the matter, the electricity consumption was 136 units, which was said to be ‘not possible’ in such a short term. As per the complainant, he had deposited Rs 120 as ‘checking fee’ following which the authorities issued order on January 30, 2017 for replacement of the meter within two days.

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