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The electricity department has withdrawn the powers of subdivision offices to correct long term power bills. The move came after some subdivision offices were found issuing erroneous bills carelessly and then rectifying bills, including those issued over a year back, thereby disturbing the department’s accounts.
All long period bill reversals will now be routed by subdivision offices through a central committee at the department’s head office to ensure transparency in the billing and accounting process.
“All subdivisions were given the powers of reversal, but they were not serious about it. Some would casually generate bills and then rectify those without informing the department. In some cases, the bills would date as far back as two years. The difference in amount would become questionable for auditors,” chief electrical engineer N N Reddy told TOI.
“From now on, they will only be able to rectify bills of the previous month. All other abnormal bills have to be referred to the central committee for reversal,” he also said, adding that this is expected to reduce the number of erroneous bills issued.
“This way we will come to know where the mistakes are being made. In case there are many complaints from a particular subdivision, the department will issue memos to the in-charge concerned so that he as well as the meter reader under him acts responsibly. If this is not done, higher officials get blamed for everything and it also gives the department a bad name,” a staffer said. The new system will also ensure meter readers take regular readings.
The department has requested consumers who fear they have received inflated bills to check their bills if the ‘Reading Remark’ printed is ‘OK’. If the bill bears the remarks door locked, not readable or faulty, then that means there is a problem with the meter and they should get it checked by the subdivision office or file a complaint on 1912.
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