Redress of power plaints made easy

Redress of power plaints made easy

Fuse-off, line breakdown problems to be fixed in 6 hrs in cities, 24 hrs in villages

Be it meter problems, transformer failures, voltage fluctuation or line breakdown, citizens will now have it easy to get their complaints redressed by the respective electricity supply company as a total of 30 Consumer Grievance Redressal Fora (CGRF) across the State will ensure a time-bound service. 

CGRFs have been constituted by the Escoms and the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) under the KERC (Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum and Ombudsman) Regulations which stipulate a time-bound redress of complaints. Earlier, there were only five CGRFs. First formulated in 2004, the regulations were further strengthened by an amendment in 2013. 

A CGRF will comprise a superintending engineer, an executive engineer and an activist selected by KERC. It will function from the office of the superintending engineer in every district. On Monday, the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) conducted a workshop for all CGRF members. 

As per the regulations, decisions on a complaint given to the redressal forum should be taken within 60 days from the day it is admitted. As per rules, officials will have to rectify problems pertaining to fuse-off and line breakdown within six hours in cities and within 24 hours in rural areas. 

Speaking at the inauguration of the workshop for CGRF members, KERC Chairperson M R Sreenivasa Murthy said the KERC had directed the escoms to allocate Rs 50 lakh to Rs one crore annually to raise awareness among consumers about the regulations. While there are helplines at present, more facilities are needed in rural areas for people to get their complaints heard, Murthy added. 

The KPTCL Managing Director, G Kumar Naik, emphasised the need for coordination among generators and distribution and transmission companies to ensure efficient service to consumers. 

Ombudsman 

While making a complaint to the grievance redress forum, a consumer need not hire a lawyer or pay the court fees. He/she can represent his/her own case. But if the complainant is not comfortable doing it, he/she can authorise a representative who will present the complaint before the grievance forum. 

But if the complainant is not satisfied with the CGRF, he/she can approach the KERC ombudsman. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the workshop, the ombudsman, Jayaramaraje Urs, said that as many as 200 such complaints had been disposed of since 2004. 

“Earlier, there were only five CGRFs across the State, now there are 30,” he said. If the complainant is not satisfied even at the ombudsman level, he/she can approach the High Court. 

“The CGRFs ensure speedy redress of complaints as it is an exclusive platform for complaints pertaining to this department only.” 

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