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Iesco consumers receive inflated electricity bills

October 07, 2013

RAWALPINDI, Oct 6: Dr Maheen was jolted when she received the electricity bill for September.

“I usually live in a hostel and visit my personal flat on weekends only.

Therefore, I was shocked to see that I had consumed 800 units last month. The authorities have certainly sent an excess bill,” she said. Dr Maheen was not the only one facing the problem.

Several electricity consumers of Rawalpindi and Islamabad have been visiting the complaint offices of Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) protesting over the inflated monthly bill for September.

Consumers who at average received power bills between Rs2,000 and Rs2,500 per month for the past two years complained that the previous month’s bill stood at Rs10,000 to Rs15,000. They also reported various errors in the bills they held.

“The bill I received mentioned that I had consumed 1,200 units last month. However, the previous meter reading and the existing number of units consumed show that I had only used 710 units. Now, the Iesco authorities have acknowledged their mistake in the bill,” Ali Hussain told Dawn on Saturday.

The local chapter of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) also raised its voice against the inflated bills in Rawalpindi.

Party workers demanded of Iesco authorities to rectify errors in the power bills.

They added that the electricity bills should be estimated again for the convenience of consumers as it was impossible for all consumers to approach the Islamabad Electric Supply Company offices.

“Electricity is available for some hours only [due to loadshedding] and the inflated bills have aggravated the consumers’ woes. How can a poor person pay Rs20,000 bill when his monthly income stands at just Rs12,000?” Shujaat Haider Naqvi, the PPP general secretary Rawalpindi said in a statement issued here.

On the other hand, Islamabad Electric Supply Company’s commercial officer, Shahjahan Malik, told Dawn that the inflated bills had not been sent deliberately.

He said the inflated bills were due to a computer error in meter readings of some consumers.

The officer added that in case of any complaint, consumers could contact the relevant staff.