At a time when the scare of spread of coronavirus has been making even the newspaper and milk delivery boys runaway from their work, partly due to fear among themselves and partly due to customers refusal to receive the products, some institutions engaged in “essential services” have been continuing their work unmindful of the fear among their employees.
Although all the four power utilities in the State have been categorised under the essential services by the State government even during the ongoing lockdown (to slowdown and prevent the spread of coronavirus) to ensure uninterrupted power supply to all categories of consumers, the staff of the two distribution companies (discoms) engaged in revenue collection and other customer services are a worried lot as they need to come in contact with people.
“Handling cash being remitted by consumers as part of payment of their energy bills is getting scary, in the wake of coronavirus spread and the news that the virus would spread through the currency notes too as they change hands very often. Besides, maintaining social distance is almost impossible as all those who come to pay bills are not completely aware of the current situation,” a revenue collection employee in Kukatpally, preferring to be anonymous, told The Hindu.
According to officials, there are about 80 customer service centres (CSCs) in the State, including 13 integrated CSCs, in the City and four outside offering various power-related customer services, including revenue collection. There are another 63 energy revenue offices where bill payment is accepted from consumers. Of them, 22 are in the City and 41 across the State.
The CSCs and ICSCs also offer services such as category change, name change and additional load request of existing consumers as also processing new service connection applications.