Actor Taapsee Pannu, Huma Qureshi and director Bijoy Nambiar are among several people from Bollywood to express concerns over the unexpected rise in their electricity bills during the lockdown. Taking to Twitter, Taapsee shared screenshots of her electricity bill from April to June and tagged power supplier Adani Electricity.
The "Thappad" star said her bill amount for April and May ranged between Rs 3,000-4000 but she was charged Rs 36,000 for the current month.
"Three months of lockdown and I wonder what appliance(s) I have newly used or bought in the apartment only last month to have such an insane rise in my electricity bill. @Adani_Elec_Mum what kind of power are you charging us for?" she wrote on Twitter with the screenshot of her electricity bills for three months.
In a subsequent tweet, the 32-year-old actor said she received a bill of Rs 8,640 for an apartment which isn't in use.
"And this one is for an apartment where no one stays and it's only visited once in a week for cleaning purpose @Adani_Elec_Mum. I am now worried if someone is actually using the apartment without our knowledge and you have helped us uncover the reality," the actor wrote sarcastically.
In a statement, Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited (AEML) said they had verified the meter reading of Taapsee and found it to be correct.
"Upon receipt of the complaint, we have verified the meter reading and found to be correct," a spokesperson from AEML said.
Replying to Taapsee's tweet, actor Pulkit Samrat said his bill was Rs 30,000.
Actor Renuka Shahane too shared her bills on Twitter, writing that she was charged Rs 5,510 for May but was billed unexpectedly higher in June by Adani Electricity.
"Dear @Adani_Elec_Mum I got a bill of Rs5,510/= on the 9th of May while in June I got a bill of Rs 29,700 combining May and June where you've charged me Rs 18,080 for the month of May. How did Rs 5,510/= become Rs 18,080/?"
Qureshi said she too was puzzled that her bill jumped to Rs 50,000 when it was Rs 6,000 last month.
"What are these new electricity rates? @Adani_Elec_Mum Last month I paid 6k .. and this month 50K?! What is this new price surge? Kindly enlighten us."
Nambiar said he was frustrated with the inflated bill which he received for the current month.
"I am just joining the bandwagon to vent my frustration against @Adani_Elec_Mum. Without a single new appliance being bought & barely using air conditioning - my bill for this month has tripled!" the "David" director tweeted.
Quoting actor-comedian Vir Das's tweet, where he asked if anyone else in Mumbai got an electricity bill that is triple of what they usually pay, celebrities including, Neha Dhupia, Dino Morea and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub replied they are experiencing surge in bills.
Filmmaker Neeraj Ghaywan said it's "ridiculous" that despite so many complaints, Adani Electricity hadn't issued even a "correction."
"So many people talking about the absolutely ridiculous electricity bill inflation by @Adani_Elec_Mum! And yet no correction or apology! Meter reading can't be an excuse for this broad daylight robbery at a time when most people don't have sources of income! Horrible," the "Masaan" director wrote.
When contacted, a spokesperson from AEML said the team has re-started physical meter reading which was halted in March because of COVID-19.
"Bills were generated on lower side being an average of preceding three months, that is December, January and February, which are winter months.
"Actual consumption in the months of April, May and June is comparatively higher due to seasonal impact (summer) and increased usage (advent of Lockdown/WfH)," the statement read.
AEML said the consumers will now start receiving bills based on their consumption with "appropriate tariff slab benefits."
"The bill amount for the past period shall be accounted as per Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) guidelines," the statement added.