The residents in Maharashtra are facing a double whammy of a raging pandemic that has induced a financial crisis in the state and inflated electricity bills for the three months of lockdown. In opposition to the outrageous electricity bills that the residents of Maharashtra have been receiving, Shiv Sainiks have decided to stage a protest against the Uddhav Thackeray government by donning briefs and vests and visiting the electricity office in Vasai west tomorrow noon, says a report published in Lokmat.
The galloping coronavirus in the country had the economy cratering, especially the state of Maharashtra, which is the worst affected state from the scourge of COVID-19. A raft of people have seen their jobs vanish, their savings depleted and their loved ones in the grips of the deadly contagion. Amidst this gloom, the exorbitant electricity bills have only added to the anxiety of the citizens who are left befuddled by their outstanding due. Several residents have claimed that they have received 10 times more than their usual bill.
It is pertinent to note that the unique agitation as planned by the Shiv Sainiks will be carried out against the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state, in which Shiv Sena is also one of the alliance partners. Uddhav Thackeray, the Shiv Sena supremo, is also the chief minister of the state. The Shiv Sainiks wearing briefs and vests are going to visit the electricity office to protest against the exaggerated electricity bills that people of Maharashtra have been receiving in the wake of the phased unlocking of the economy after a stringent lockdown of almost 3 months.
Outsize electricity bills in Maharashtra
There has been a torrent of complaints on social media from consumers about inflated power bills for the month of June. Complaints are pouring in against power distribution companies in Maharashtra.
The power distribution companies such as Adani Electricity have issued multiple press releases to explain why the electricity bills are so high. Recently, a spokesperson for Adani Electricity reasoned that the high consumption in lockdown when people were working from home during the summer months was one of the reasons why the bills are so high.
The power distribution companies have alleged that the bills issued in June include the consumption of units in May as well as differential consumption over-approximation of March and April. This is leading to higher charges on the bills.
A spokesperson for Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) said, “In case of any fault in meter readings and calculations from our side, we will rectify the electricity bill and the amount will get adjusted in the next month’s bill.”
Other states have adopted different methods to derive at electricity bills during lockdown months. While some of the states have waived off the bills during the lockdown period, others who have taken the average consumption of the users to arrive at the charges for June, are facing similar complaints of inflated electricity bills from consumers.