Well, apparently the electricity board has got privatized. Yeah, I sometimes tend to be oblivious to some of the “important” developments in our country.
Well, last month was hectic and the electricity bill slipped off my mind. What do you know???
I open the door. Madam, have you paid the electricity bill?
Me: I don’t think so. I will check in my mail box and pay it today.
She: No madam, pay it right now, within one hour. I am disconnecting the power supply to your home. When you pay it, someone will come and switch it on.
Me: thinking, What??? No reminder, no nothing, straight banging on my door with a threat!!
Me: Dekhiye madam, I told you I shall pay it. Don’t cut the light. There is a patient in my house. (A relative was getting treated for a serious health issue and she is staying with me.)
She: No madam. Nothing doing. Have you picked up your light bill?
Me: Not yet
HE (someone who accompanied this haughty lady): Kya madam, light bill dekhna maangta hai ki nahin??? Shouting at the TOP of his voice so that the entire neighborhood could hear.. the old lady on the ground floor actually came out of her flat and started asking those guys to efff off and not trouble me.
Me: thinking, unbelievable!!
Me: How can you guys just barge into an elite society and accuse someone of not paying the bill? It’s peanuts for God’s sake!!! WHYY?? Why would you create a scene and insult someone for such a measly amount??? AND not give time to pay it off.
Finally, on the old lady’s behest (God bless her, she loves me)… they agreed to give me a couple of hours. I did what was required.
But this incident left a bad taste in my mouth. THIS is our developed India, where respectable citizens are harassed and threatened of being denied of basic amenities on the spot. And two citizens, and I don’t know how many more, are employed to knock on the doors of every house and threaten perfectly sane people who have all intentions of paying their hard-earned incomes for electricity and water and gas!!
Here’s what I found out from Mr. Google:
- That it’s illegal to disconnect power supply without 15 days’ notice
- That it’s also misuse of powers by the authority
- That we can lodge a complaint to report this kind of rude behavior and misuse of power
Read these news articles:
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), an apex authority under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), has rapped MSEDCL for resorting to illegal practice of disconnecting power supply of consumers without issuing notice under section 56 (1) of the Indian Electricity Act (IEA) 2003.
And that’s that.