Engineer, two officials suspended after Rs.77-crore bill shocker

Chandigarh, Nov 15 (IANS) Three officials, including an engineer, were placed under suspension on Sunday in Haryana after an ordinary tyre-repair shopkeeper received a bill of Rs.77 crore.

“The Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam has suspended sub-divisional officer Vikram Singh, commercial assistant Bairam and lower divisional clerk Pritam Singh with immediate effect for issuing a inflated erroneous bill of about Rs.77 crore to a consumer of Faridabad,” a DHBVN spokesman said on Sunday.

The DHBVN had issued clear directions that pre-audit of bills was important before issuing bill to consumers in which any error in bill could be rectified before it is issued, the spokesman said.

Jagpal, the owner of a small tyre repair shop in Faridabad, adjoining Delhi, received an electricity bill of over Rs.77 crore, leaving him utterly “shocked”.

The bill, dated October 31, was issued by the DHBVN. Jagpal his family were “shocked” to see the bill and the amount of over Rs.77.89 crore mentioned in it.

“I run a shop from a rented premises where I repair punctured tyres. My bill has always been Rs.2,000-2,500. I only have a fan and a bulb working here. I have cleared all my earlier bills. This one came as a shocker,” said the shopkeeper, whose premises is in Adarsh Nagar colony.

Neighbours said the shopkeeper’s mother had to be taken to a doctor as she felt unwell after hearing about the huge bill.

This was not the first instance in Haryana that a consumer has been given a big bill.

A pan-seller (betel-leaf seller) in Haryana’s Gohana town in Sonipat district got a bill of Rs.132 crore in October last year.

Earlier, an electricity consumer in Haryana’s Narnaul town got a bill of Rs.234 crore in April 2007.

Officials of the concerned power utilities blamed the bills on technical and computer glitches.

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