Nagpur: After a wait of two weeks, MSEDCL has finally issued a show cause notice to city power franchisee SNDL over its poor consumer service. The six-page show-cause notice issued to the company by MSEDCL chief engineer Mohan Zode has asked it to take remedial action on several counts within two months, failing which a termination notice would be served. The two-member inquiry committee set up by MSEDCL had found out several instances of objectionable and even illegal working by the franchisee.

The two-member committee comprising MSEB Holding Company director RB Goenka and MSEDCL consumer forum member Gauri Chandrayan had submitted the report to the Holding Company on August 27. Energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule had promised to issue a show-cause notice immediately but took a lot of time. The minister had appointed the committee on April 27. Over 12,000 complaints were received by the committee from consumers, of which around 9,500 were related to power theft.

The notice has brought some shocking facts to the fore. SNDL had claimed that it had done capital investment of 266.32 crore while an audit report by independent auditor has stated that it was only 60.45 crore. The franchisee is also not maintaining standby letter of credit (SLBC), which should be twice of average monthly bill of MSEDCL.

Other than medium-term measures, MSEDCL has asked SNDL to submit some data immediately. These include a list of tools and inventories and list of new consumers from whom excess supervision charges were collected.

Objectionable working of SNDL

* Adequate security deposit not maintained

* Huge difference between capex investment claimed (Rs266 cr) and actually done (Rs60 cr)

* Adequate number of personnel not deployed for operations and tools not provided to field staff

* Overall grievance cases of consumer has increased

* Average bills issued to consumer even after disconnection

* Properly working meters replaced and copy of test report not given to consumers

* Excess supervision charges collected from new consumers

* Meter testing bench not calibrated by accredited laboratory

* Did not follow MERC regulations while inspecting consumer premises

* Prescribed procedure not followed in assessment of power theft cases

* Employees misbehaved with many consumers

* Call centre working very poor

* No vigilance officer for inquiring into complaints of corruption.[TOI]