‘Rs 1,000 to 17,000: How My Electricity Bill in Mumbai Spiked’
The Board added the entire three months units and multiplied it with the price of that slab, this is wrong.
Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui
Video Producer: Aastha Gulati
Like many others in Mumbai, I also faced issues with the electricity bill that came in the month of June.
Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEB) has charged me a bill of 17,190 with 1,747 units for the months of April, May and June. This was a shocker for me because I haven’t paid any bill more than Rs 1,000 this entire year for anything.
Unable to comprehend the exorbitant amount being charged, I did some research and asked some people around about the same.
Then I realised that a lot of people around me, my friends, my family, and even my co-workers had received a similar, inflated electricity bill. It is now understood that the bill is an accumulated one for the lockdown period.
From what I understand, the rate is to do with the slab. DISCOMs have added the units for three months and multiplied it with the price of that slab.
This is wrong. When you’re charging per month, there are lesser number of units ie per unit rate is less. So, when you charge with the accumulated units, the per unit rate is higher.
There is something called ‘Submit Reading’ on the MahaVitaran app by MSEDL (Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited). You can submit your reading after putting your consumer number. This is something that was available readily but none of us knew about it.
I feel that this should have come from the government when they decided that they won’t come to our homes and take the reading for the meters.
Electricity Board Is Inaccessible
The MSEB is not open for many people to access. Their own website says that we can register a complaint there, however, the complaint got closed and the website stated to visit the space for the bill details.
I have registered a complaint on the website but no one has reverted to me, I only got a message that directed me to the bill help desk for billing details. But there is no option for me to reject the bill or redress my complaint.
When a common man receives such a huge bill, the first question on the mind is — how do I pay this? People have the entire month’s expense chalked out, with this sudden bill, how will they expend it out?
The government said that due to COVID-19, they might forego the electricity bill for the months that we have been charged for. Hence, that was the assumption.
The power companies have denied any inflation of bills and have attributed the massive bill amounts to increased usage and lack of meter reading amid the lockdown.
The president of Maharashtra State Power Consumers' Association Pratap Hogade had said that there was nothing wrong the bills sent by Mahavitaran, stating that they are at par with the increased tariff which became applicable from 1 April.
How Will People Cope With the Spike?
Many of us are not working, a lot of us have got salary cuts, some are jobless, so how do we cope up with these bills that are coming up?
There are people I know, who have got bills for their empty houses, where no one is residing, it's really difficult to understand. Hence, we need answers from the board.
So yes, this is something everyone is facing right now and without answers how we are going to manage this bill is questionable. Hopefully, someone will answer this question.
(All ‘My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)
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