Jagatsinghpur, Nov 29 (LocalWire) Residents of Jagatsinghpur district are alleging the electricity department is extracting excess bills from them.
According to sources, lack of infrastructure and electrical equipment have not only affected electricity connections of the beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya), but also forced to collect extra money from the poor for non-availability of meter.
As per this scheme, there is provision to supply electricity connection to consumers free of cost but consumption of electricity by beneficiaries is not free.
Meanwhile, sources said the electricity department has been supplied with electric poles, wires, pipe and other electrical equipment; yet many beneficiaries in remote coastal villages are yet to get their electricity connection.
“Even after providing electric connection, they are not installing the meters. And now they are sending us bills based on average calculation, which is excess to what is being consumed,” said a beneficiary.
Consumers Sukant Swain, Dadhibaman Lenka and Surendra Swain said they are being charged Rs. 470 every two months, whereas their electric consumption is hardly Rs. 100-150 for two months.
Another consumer Manjari Swain alleged electricity connection was not supplied to her house since she refused to pay bribe.
Official sources said total 26,428 consumers of 633 villages under Jagatsinghpur electrical division have been identified to supply electric connection under this scheme.
Till date, 19,990 consumers of 362 villages have been covered under Saubhagya.
Out of 19,990 , meters have not yet been installed at the houses of 6438 consumers, who are given excess bills.
Executive Engineer, Central Electricity Supply Utility of Orissa (CESU) of Jagatsinghpur, Jagdish Charan Sahoo said: “Consumers have been given excess bills because the department itself has been supplied with average calculation bills due to non-supply of required quantities of meter boxes.”
“Last month, department has received only 3000 meters to be installed by the end of December. Another 6438 meters are required for the remaining consumers,” he added.