LAHORE: As the consumers using up to 300 units were already in shock due to imposition of massive fuel price adjustment (FPA) charges and struggling for the last many days to get these deleted from their bills under the government’s decision, those consuming over 300 units also received inflated bills for the month of August - much more than last year.

Since most of such consumers were found arguing with the officials at the Lesco field/sub-divisional offices in city over FPA and other taxes, some of them were found requesting the staff for payment in installments. There were some cases related to excess reading in addition to the already inflated bills due to FPA and other taxes.

“The August bill I received recently is of Rs17,791 against 408 units consumption. The FPA in my bill is over Rs4,289 while my last year’s [August] bill was just Rs6,040.

“But surprisingly my bill on another meter for this August is Rs14,789 for 428 units (20 units less in the bill of Rs17,791). Last year’s August bill was Rs11,615,” a confused consumer in Ichhra subdivision office told Dawn on Monday.

Some want to pay in tranches; others question average billing in case of faulty meters

“It is really confusing as well as shocking,” he deplored.

According to a consumer in Johar Town, his last year’s August bill was of around Rs5,200. But this year’s August bill is nearly of Rs17,000 which is much more than the last year. “I have come here to request the officials for two installments. But they are not doing it,” he complained.

Another consumers also narrated a similar story, stating that his last year’s August bill was over Rs18,000.

“But this August bill, I received, is around Rs27,000. It seems that I will spend half of my salary on the payment of the bill. But here, no one is listening to us,” he deplored.

“I also used around 20 per cent less electricity this month. It is really confusing,” he added.

Talking to Dawn, a consumer of Kasur’s rural area complained that the Lesco area office used to overcharge the consumers through excess reading.

“They (Lesco people) served me a bill of Rs105,000. When I got the matter investigated, I came to know that 7,000 units were charged excess of the actual reading. Later I approached the area office through some locals and finally got the bill corrected,” he explained.

Another consumer in Lahore (Faisal Town) told this reporter that the area office served him an inflated detection bill on account of the meter that broke down due to technical fault.

“Now the Lesco officials say they would charge me as per last year’s use/average. How they can charge me in this way, as I used electricity to minimum since my kids were in abroad. But last year I used more electricity and received a considerable bill. So charging the customers with detection bills by comparing last year’s electricity use shouldn’t be the formula to calculate actual bill,” he said.

The Lesco CEO was not available for comments, as his cell number was not responding when called at 9:20pm.

ARRESTED: In a major operation, a Lesco team detected huge power theft at an ice factory at Ravi Road.

When the team, according to a spokesman, reached the spot, it found the factory being run through stealing electricity from the main line. The team got the factory owner arrested on the spot besides charging him with 52,000 units.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2022

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