The District Consumer Redressal Forum has ordered the Tamil Nadu Generation Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) to pay ₹ 22,277 for failing to repay the excess amount collected from a consumer after fitting faulty meter in his house.
When the TANGEDCO fixed new meter in the house of R. Abubucker Siddique, 32, of Kodeeswaran Nagar in Tirunelveli Town, the new meter showed 1,000 units even when it was installed in March, 2019. As the first reading from the new meter was taken in May, 2019, the TANGEDCO staff marked the reading as 1,358 even as the consumption was only 358 units.
When Mr. Abubucker pointed out this error to the TANGEDCO’s Assistant Engineer, Pettai, he reportedly admitted to the error after cross-checking the consumer’s version with the computer readings in his office. Though the official assured to fix the technical issue, it was not resolved forcing the consumer to approach the Executive Engineer (Tirunelveli Urban) and then the Superintending Engineer in search of a remedy.
Meanwhile, the consumer was asked to pay ₹ 3,496 before October 17, 2019 and he had to pay the amount in a bid to save the power connection to his house.
Though Mr. Abubucker had to run from pillar to post for five months, no official from TANGEDCO was prepared to help him out, forcing him to approach the district consumer redressal forum. Even after the legal notice was served, the Superintending Engineer, Executive Engineer and the Assistant Engineer, Pettai, replied that they would confirm first that if the meter was really faulty and adjust the amount in the subsequent months.
Though the faulty meter was replaced by another meter, the issue remained unresolved. When the case came up before the forum, none from TANGEDCO turned up forcing the forum to decide the case based on the evidence submitted by the aggrieved petitioner.
Accordingly, the forum directed the three officials to pay the compensation of ₹ 15,000, ₹ 2,277 towards the excess charge collected from the consumer and ₹ 5,000 as cost.
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