Network to spread awareness on power consumption

Network to spread awareness on power consumption

Network to spread awareness on power consumption

In order to bridge the gap between the government departments and power consumers, Karnataka Electricity Governance Network (KEGN), an initiative by Consumer Rights Education and Awareness Trust (CREAT), will conduct outreach workshops involving citizens.

The electricity governance network has already conducted four such meetings since March this year at Magadi, Doddaballapur, Chitradurga and Chintamani. Ten more meetings are planned to spread awareness among the public about power distribution and consumption.

On Monday, the KEGN conducted a meeting of its members to chalk out measures for not only creating awareness but also encourage electricity supply companies to play a more pro-active role in ensuring a sustainable approach to power distribution and ensure safety of citizens.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, KEGN member Y G Muralidharan said that in the initial stages, the focus will be on the power situation in Bangalore and the network will gradually disseminate information across Karnataka. “We have to make public hearings more educative instead of just hearing complaints. Civil society participation also needs to increase. We must strengthen the advisory committees as well. There is currently not much transparency in planning on the part of Bescom,” he pointed out.

In its previous workshops, KEGN found that small towns and villages were neglected by electricity utilities and at the same time, electricity thefts were more there. In the measures chalked out for more efficient distribution, the members opined that there have to be customer advice centres in each of the sub-division offices of Bescom.

Local committees to bring together people’s voices and Transformer Users’ Association for every transformer (each catering to about 100 people), are the other measures suggested. The electricity commission should have a consumer representative within the committee as well. “Today, when we see the Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum, there is nobody to represent the people or help them in informing how to file complaints,” Muralidharan said.

At the KEGN meeting on Monday, members said that in several instances, consumers were harassed in the name of slow meters. When it comes to Bescom staff, the linemen are not provided with safety gear and risk their lives on their job.

On the other hand, there were several instances where the public were misusing electricity as well.

KEGN plans to hold another meeting next month to consolidate more measures in improving the situation.