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Taapsee Pannu, Huma Qureshi, Vir Das slam Mumbai discoms for unusually high power bills

After Mumbai residents, Bollywood celebrities slam discoms over high bills for June. Companies say bills calculated on an estimated basis due to lockdown.

A file photo of actor Taapsee Pannu. | Photo: ANI
A file photo of actor Taapsee Pannu | Photo: ANI

New Delhi: Several Bollywood celebrities, including actor Taapsee Pannu, have slammed power companies in Mumbai over unusually high bills for the month of June.

On Sunday, Pannu hit out at discom Adani Electricity after receiving a monthly bill of Rs 36,000 in June, in comparison to Rs 3,850 in May.

“3 months of lockdown and I wonder what appliance(s) I have newly used or bought in the apartment only last month to have such an insane rise in my electricity bill,” she said on Twitter, posting images of her bills. 

She also received a bill of Rs 8,640 for a house that remains unused except for cleaning purposes once a week — against Rs 730 in May.

“I am now worried if someone is actually using the apartment without our knowledge and you have helped us uncover the reality,” she added

Comedian Vir Das also claimed that he received “triple” the amount of bill he usually pays. “Anyone else in Mumbai get an electricity bill that is triple what they usually pay?” Das tweeted Saturday. His colleague Kaneez Surka responded saying she also received a higher bill.

“Hey all, whenever we get back to normal shows, on the first show, I’m going to charge you the cumulative amount you would have spent on coming to see multiple shows for all of 2020. Oh wait…I forgot. Comedy is not electricity. Even though electricity appears to be comedy,” Das added Monday. 

Actors Shruti Seth, Amyra Dastur, Neha Dhupia and director Sudhir Misra also slammed the companies on the same issue.

Dastur wrote to her supplier, Best Electricity, on Twitter saying, “You’ve been charging me a high amount on my bills even though I haven’t stayed in that flat since April 1st. Kindly send me a contact no. so I can speak to someone and sort this out.”

Actor Huma Qureshi claimed she paid Rs 6,000 last month and has been billed Rs 50,000 by Adani Electricity for June.


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What the companies say

Over the weekend, other Mumbai residents had also targeted the power companies operating in the city — Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd (MSEDCL), Tata Power and Adani Electricity — on the same issue.

In a press statement, MSEDCL said that no meter readings happened during lockdown and consumers received their electricity bills on an average basis.  

Tata Power clarified on Twitter that since meter reading and bill distribution services were suspended during lockdown, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission issued a directive and “suggested to continue to bill the consumers on the estimated basis of the last month consumption (i.e. Feb / Mar 20)”.

“Post unlock 1.0, we have resumed meter reading activity and bills are being generated based on actual readings,” said Tata Power. “The final bill is raised after adjusting consumption and bill amount as per the estimated bills raised in the interim period.”

According to a CNBC report, Adani Electricity put the onus on its consumers, saying that most consumers were working from home due to the lockdown and so the consumption of power had increased.


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