Residence in Dhaka and outskirt are suffering endlessly in the pandemic period due to ghost bill issued by electricity offices that is four to 10 times more than usual.

Consumers are in severe anxiety as the power office has said that if the bill is not paid by the 30th of this month of June, the connection will be disconnected.

A client Habibur Rahamn at Dhanmondhi area told Business Mirror that his electricity bill comes to an average of Tk four thousand per month. But a bill of around Tk 20,000 was sent only in May.

He contacted the office of the local power distribution company to find out the reason for the sudden rise in the bill, but got no good answer.

What’s behind the ghostly electricity bill?

It was learned that electricity bills for March, April and May have been hypothetically as meter readers did not inspect the bill on the spot However, the government has waived the penalty for non-payment of electricity bills on time

Such complaints are from hundreds of other customers for which they are now crowding the power office in this corona period with complaints every day.

To understand the story of the ghostly electricity bill, one must first understand how the residential electricity bill is calculated, a consumer rights activist said.

“The new price of electricity has come into effect from March 1, 2020. According to the latest notification of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) dated February 26, the lowest level of the bill is called Life Line. This lifeline is up to 50 units The price per unit is now 3.75 Tk, He explained.

Electricity prices have risen 5 to 10 percent since March as before, the price per unit of Life Line was Tk 3.50 With each step, it has increased more or less. Now the price of residential electricity is –

First step: 0-75 units – Tk 4.19, Second step: 6-200 units – 5.82 Tk,

Third step: 200-300 units – Tk 7.00, Fourth step: 301-400 units – Tk 7.34, Fifth step: 401-600 units – Tk 9.94, Step 6: Above 600 units – Tk. 11.48

Then the electricity bill is calculated according to step 7. The electricity bill is calculated by determining the steps in terms of how many units of electricity are used Some more charges are added to it

This time the electricity bills for the three months of March, April and May have been paid together and that too has been given by guessing 7 without seeing the meter reading, rights activist said.

Although the power department claims that they have billed for three months at a time, they have set an average monthly rate. But that step is not mentioned in the customer’s bill.  And even if they complain in writing, the bill is not being shown according to their steps.

At the end of the year, an additional 10-15 per cent additional bills have been billed to balance the revenue, according to power department sources.

In a letter to BERC, the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) complained that the consumer’s electricity bill was 10 times or one thousandth more than the reasonable amount.

However, DPDC Managing Director Bikash Dewan admitted the error in the electricity bill but he asserted that his confession had been obtained through torture On average, the steps are set separately in the monthly bill. ”

However, there are some mistakes in the bill and it is being corrected, said Bikash Dewan “There are two types of incidents, over and under billing,” he said There was something wrong with adding and subtracting. ”

Even then, he could not give a satisfactory answer when he wanted to know how the bill of so many customers comes seven-eight times more .

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