Defected electric metres leave customers distressed

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  • The electric metres of 2.2 million customers out of 25 million are out of order across Pakistan.

 

  • More than 95,000 single-phase metres along with 11,000 three-phase metres ran out of order in the year 2017.

 

LAHORE: Electric-energy corporations across the country have provided thousands of customers with defected metres. 522,000 metres including both single and three-phase metres ran out of order within only one year.

The corporations rather than facilitating their customers by replacing the faulty metres, have labelled them “defaulters” and have sent them additional defective electricity bills worth millions.

Among the corporations that have installed the defected metres, Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) has left all others behind. According to LESCO, thousands of complaints regarding faulty metres were registered with electric-energy corporations in 2017.

LESCO, Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO), Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO), Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO), Gujranwala Electric Power Company (GEPCO) and Sukkur Power Company are among the electric supply corporations where the number of complaints regarding faulty electricity metres has reached a new high.

According to a government report, the electric metres of 2.2 million customers out of 25 million are out of order across Pakistan, and 500,000 of the affected consumers have now submitted applications for the provision of new devices. Other than this, more than a million new metres are needed, while the requests of numerous customers have still not been responded to.

Sources claim that the officials, as well as other employees including the metre-readers and metre-inspectors of the electric supply corporations, are involved in the setting up of defected metres. Following the implementation of the law that sentences any overbilling meter-reader to jail for three years, the involved personnel rather than overbilling the consumers, have now started to tamper the metres on their own in a bid to send defective bills to the customers, which has left the people distressed.

The sources further said that while more than 95,000 single-phase metres along with 11,000 three-phase metres ran out of order in the year 2017, the customers have also been sent bills worth thousands of rupees other than being forced to visit the offices of electric supply corporations and apply for new electricity metres.

The LESCO officials have said that defected metres are to be replaced within a month as per the federal government’s policy, but owing to the shortage of new metres, some customers are left waiting even after 6 months.