While strongly opposing a move by Mangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (MESCOM) to hike power tariff by 0.62 paise per unit, consumers at a public hearing here on Thursday suggested that the company come out with a better mechanism for recovery of dues owed by the State government.
The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) conducted the hearing.
Farmers and industrial body representatives from Mangaluru, Udupi, Chickmagaluru and Shivamogga expressed the need for MESCOM to improve its grievance redressal mechanism.
K.L. Venkatagiri from Consumers Forum, Sagar, Shivamogga, said that MESCOM is yet to get ₹ 913 crore from the State government, ₹ 408 crore from other electricty supply companies, ₹ 156 crore from the Panchayat Raj Department and ₹ 61 crore from KPTCL. The hands of MESCOM needs to be strengthened to recover this amount totalling ₹ 1,760 crore.
To this, KERC Chairman Shambhu Dayal Meena said, “We are not stopping MESCOM from recovering dues.” Stating that MESCOM’s round-the-clock consumer service centre was ineffective in handling grievances, Mr. Venkatagiri said that it was not being operated by responsible officers.
“A few outsourced personnel are handling calls. We are not seeing any qualitative change in its operation,” he said and sought an empirical study on its working.