The Bold Voice of J&K

Lighting/ Power Meter reading

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Dear Editor,
All is well if the meter reading of lighting or power installations is taken by the meter readers exactly on the same day when it is due and also more less at the same time. When uniform rates are fixed for all the units, it makes no difference if the meter reading is taken at a different point of time. It matters little even if one or two days are delayed in taking the reading in such cases. Electricity tariff is replete with slab rates. If the reading is not taken in time, there is all the possibility of the consumption passing on to next slab for application of rates. All slabs subsequent to first slab will be incrementally on higher side. If the meter reading is not taken in time and if the consumed units of electricity go to next higher slab, it would have financial implications resulting in the consumers to shell out more money. Some consumers may accept the higher slab without raising any dispute. But some rule-minded consumers may not accept. Some consumers may raise dispute because payment in higher slab for no fault of their own makes (big or small) hole into the pocket. Some consumers not willing to deviate from the established rule may raise dispute. It would be no wonder even if such an issue knocks at the door of courts. It is well-neigh impossible to expect the meter reader to take the reading in all the months on the same day and at the same time due to impracticability for various reasons. In such a case, the remedy is to allow the meter readers to note the reading and raise the bill by assessing the consumption conforming to the prescribed day or time in the month. The assessed consumption for a very few units should be deducted from the recorded consumption when the meter reading could not be taken at the stipulated date and time. The need for raising the bill on pro rata basis arises only when the consumption exceeds the lower slab by only a very few units like 5 to 10 units. If the meter reader takes wise decision at the time of taking the reading, many a dispute in courts or outside the courts can be avoided. For this, the meter reader must be given the liberty to adjust the reading if the need arises. Any power or authority given to anybody is amenable for misuse or abuse. If the authority or power given to the meter readers is abused to harass the consumer, they should be strictly punished.
K.V. Seetharamaiah

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