New smart meters generate higher electricity charges: Guwahati residents
Installation of smart meters by APDCL replacing the earlier digital meters has resulted in increased charges creating problems and annoyance to consumers.
GUWAHATI: Installation of smart meters by APDCL (Assam Power Distribution Company Limited) replacing the earlier digital meters has resulted in increased charges creating problems and annoyance to consumers. Approximately 1.85 lakh smart prepaid meters have been installed in Guwahati. But many customers complained that the current charges are much higher than the ones received earlier.
Guwahati residents raise a complaint that the prepaid meters show more power consumption than the actual. And different consumers give different opinions about this matter.
"The smart meters installed by Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) are faulty, and they are making hole in everyone's pocket. The current charges have increased unexpectedly after the smart meter installation," said Partha Baruah, a complaining customer.
"APDCL prepaid smart meter sometimes shows the previous bill even after payment is not credited. Sometimes consumer number is shown wrong. And one day, my prepaid balance also got reduced by Rs. 320," said Gautam Dutta, a consumer.
"APDCL's smart prepaid meter is changing and baffling the initiative. Whenever the authorities take a decision to change any system, it is very much essential to educate people about it. Hurried implementation of a new system might create confusion. Besides that, consumers also remain unaware of the intention and suspicious about the motive of the new system. However, it does not mean that we are opposing the new system, but it is our right to know the new system in detail. So it is essential for the authorities to educate the general public about the new systems. Advantages and disadvantages of the new system are known to us, but recharge apps may create problems for those who do not have smart phones for making payments," said Upen Kalita, another customer.
However, an APDCL official affirmed that smart prepaid meters are equipped with the same technology, and show the same charges as earlier. And that the electricity line will not get disconnected during holidays even though the balance is low. So he asked the consumers not to worry even though they have low balance or don't have online payment facility.