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Last Updated : Jul 06, 2020 10:01 PM IST | Source: PTI

Adani Electricity Mumbai says resolved 96% of power bill complaints

AEML, which distributes power to around 30 lakh consumers from Bandra to Bhayandar and Kurla to Mankhurd, has been able to recover overdues from 3.3 lakh consumers out of 7.5 lakh consumers as of June 30.

PTI

Billionaire Gautam Adani-led Adani Electricity Mumbai, which has been facing allegations of generating inflated bills, especially by Bollywood celebrities, on Monday claimed that it has resolved almost 96 per cent of the complaints received so far. Bollywood celebrities, including Taapsee Pannu, Richa Chadha, Kavita Kaushik, Renuka Shahane, Vir Das and Dino Morea, among many other consumers of Adani Electricity had taken to Twitter complaining about receiving inflated bills in June.

"We had received around 48,000 complaints and we have been able to resolve almost 96 per cent of those. There are another around 2,200 complaints where meter verification is going on. None of the bills where intervention was sought were wrong," company's CEO Kandarp Patel told reporters in a conference call.

Another Bollywood actor Arshad Warsi had also tweeted about receiving an inflated bill, but later removed the tweet after the company informed him that he had published a bill of April 2019, which he had already paid.

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Terming the tweets of Pannu and Warsi as "unfortunate" and "derogatory" Patel said, "They tweeted without realising what they are saying. When they realised they had to regret and accept that they were incorrect."

Even as the company has not taken any action against the Munna Bhai MBBS fame actor for making derogatory statements against the company's management, he said that as an organisation, AEML still reserves the right for any action in such cases.

As per the directions of state electricity regulator, MERC, state utilities including Mahadiscom, Tata Power, AEML and BEST had issued bills for March, April and May based on average consumption during the winter months of December, January and February, since physical meter reading was not possible due to the lockdown.

According to AEML, the average consumption during the three months of March, April and May went up by nearly 20 per cent of the average consumption in the corresponding months, while 50 per cent as compared to December 2019, and January and February 2020.

"Generally, the average consumption in summer months is 33 per cent more than the winter months. However, this time, since everyone was at home during the lockdown period, the residential consumption increased significantly, " Patel explained.

AEML, which distributes power to around 30 lakh consumers from Bandra to Bhayandar and Kurla to Mankhurd, has been able to recover overdues from 3.3 lakh consumers out of 7.5 lakh consumers as of June 30.

"At the beginning of April, the over due was Rs 225 crore which went to Rs 830 crore over the period. This has now reduced to Rs 750 crore, but in the meantime, we had to borrow funds to meet our operational expenses as we had a shortfall of Rs 600 crore in collections arising due to under-recovery," he said.

Patel further said that the company has taken all the measures such as virtual help desk, EMI facility as well a proactive awareness initiatives to increase clarity on the billing process amongst the consumers.

"After the relaxation of the lockdown norms, we have started issuing bills based on actual meter reading and so far we have covered 94 per cent of the customer base. The remaining 5-6 per cent is pending as they fall under the containment zones. We hope that we would be able to generate actual bills for them as well soon," he noted.

The company also plans to soon install over seven lakh smart meters in the coming months to ensure real-time information to consumers on their electricity consumption.

AEML is allowing EMI facility at a rate of 9.9 per cent interest as per the guidelines of MERC, the company said.
First Published on Jul 6, 2020 10:01 pm
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