Since the launch of the government’s flagship scheme — Gruha Jyothi — on August 1, the helpline number (1912) of Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) has received a total of 1,089 complaints from citizens up until Wednesday, August 16. The concerns of most of these complainants revolve around the annual average calculation and entitled units. Of these, 989 complaints have been resolved.
Speaking about the commonly heard complaints, Mahantesh Bilagi, Managing Director, Bescom, said, “We have some consumers who ask us why they are not eligible for the scheme even though they have consumed only 200 units since June. However, their annual average for the last year would have been over 200 units. We explain to them how the previous year’s average consumption is considered according to the rules laid down by the government.”
He said that the next category of consumers who registered complaints was those who are living in rented houses. “The families who have moved into new rented houses have problems with their entitled units. They say that entitled units to their meter are very less as the old tenants were consuming less electricity and their consumption is more.”
Special redressal team
Bescom has constituted a special complaint redressal team just for the Gruha Jyothi scheme at its corporate office. Mr. Bilagi said that the team was involved in explaining the regulations to the consumers in a simple, patient manner and ensuring that their issues are addressed.
Ganga K., a resident of East Bengaluru, said she called the helpline after she was charged in the electricity bill. “The executive patiently took down my details and explained to me why I was charged. I was relieved to have my doubt cleared,” she said.
74 lakh zero bills
From August 1, the five electricity supply companies (Escoms) started issuing zero bills under the scheme to domestic consumers. Up until Thursday, August 17, a total of 1,19,38,402 bills were issued to the beneficiaries of the scheme throughout Karnataka. Out of this, 74,08,769 consumers received zero bills while 45,29,663 consumers received non-zero bills.
“Around 62.06% of bills are zero bills. Even the ones who have received non-zero bills are very well the beneficiaries of the scheme, but they would just have to pay the net amount (for consumption beyond entitled units),” Mr. Bilagi said.
While many consumers started enjoying the benefits of the scheme, registration for the same has been going strong even in August. Between July 28 and August 15, over 10.83 lakh consumers registered for the scheme, taking the total number of registrations to 1.51 crore from 1.4 crore. The Energy Department had earlier said that a total of 2.14 crore domestic consumers in the State would be eligible for the scheme.