Wednesday, June 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Meeting of farmersí panel
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 25
A meeting of the Punjab Agricultural University Animal Husbandry Farmersí Committee will be held in the Farmersí Service Centre of the University on June 27 at 10 a.m., under the Chairmanship of Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, PAU.

Dairy and poultry farmers of the state are members of this committee which has been constituted by the university to get feedback from them regarding their technical, managerial, marketing and other problems.

Besides University experts, representatives of other Punjab Government Departments like Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development, Fisheries and other organisations like Milkfed, Punjab Poultry Corporation, Punjab Dairy Development Corporation and private organisations will also attend the meeting.

Dr Jaspinder Singh Kolar, Director, Extension Education, Punjab Agricultural University, said the feedback from the farmers will become an important basis for giving future directions to research and extension programmes of the University.



PAU training course for fish farmers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 25
As part of its efforts to boost diversification, Punjab Agricultural University will organise a training course for fish farmers during August. Giving this information, Dr Jaspinder Singh Kolar, Director of Extension Education, PAU, said that this training course would start on August 19 and the farmers desirous of getting training in fish farming should send their applications on plain paper to Professor and Head of the Department of Extension Education, PAU. For further information, Dr Jaswinder Bhalla, course coordinator, may be contacted in Kairon Kisan Ghar of the university. 



PSEB penalised for raising wrong demand
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 25
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to pay Rs 3,000 on account of compensation for deficient services along with Rs 500 as cost of litigation to Ms Ranjit Kaur, a resident of Nirmal Nagar, Dugri. The forum has further directed the PSEB to restore the connection of the consumer within 10 days of receipt of the order.

According to the complaint, the consumer had received a bill on January 25, 2000, in which Rs 15,762 was included on account of arrears. The representative of the consumer, Mr S.S. Sarna, stated that the consumer had protested against the said demand as she had been making the regular payment of the bills, but the PSEB officials refused to withdraw the demand.

Mr Sarna disclosed that when the consumer did not make the payment of the amount, the respondent disconnected her electricity connection in the first week of February, 2000. He further disclosed that the complainant had given an application on February 26, 2000, to the PSEB that when the actual reading for the said bill was 2212, while the respondent had mentioned it as 7067 in the bill. After that a JE was deputed and he reported that the reading was only 2212, but instead of doing the needful, the electricity meter was removed in April, 2000, in the absence of the consumer, Mr Sarna added.

Mr Sarna stated that the complainant was not invited to the ME Laboratory so that she or her representative could remain present at the time of checking of the meter. He further stated that the consumer gave another application on August 7, 2000, to correct the bill, but to no avail. It was pointed out that despite the fact the JE inspected the meter again and reported that the reading was 2212, the PSEB refused to issue the correct bill.

It was demanded from the forum, to quash all the bills including the arrears which had been issued on average basis and to direct the PSEB, to issue the bills as per actual consumption.

The PSEB pleaded that reading of the meter on October 24, 1999, was 6609 whereas the previous reading was 1081, therefore the bill for consumption of 5528 units of Rs 14,410, was issued after adding the surcharge for Rs 15,762. The respondent maintained that the bill was not paid. It was admitted that in March, 2001, the reading as corrected in the ledger as 2212. It was further admitted that the refund of Rs 14,961 was given to the consumer being the excess amount charged due to the wrong reading and the consumer was required to pay Rs 2,778 which the consumer never paid.

The PSEB maintained that the meter installed on the premises of the consumer was removed on April 24, 2000. The respondent clarified that there was no deficiency in service on its part and the consumer was not entitled to any relief.

The forum observed that the respondent in its reply admitted that after rechecking of the meter, it was found the reading of the meter was 2212 units and as such the refund of Rs 14,968 was given. The forum further observed that the according to the aforesaid statement of the respondent, the demand of Rs 15,762 was wrongly raised.

The forum stated that after refund of the said amount, only Rs 2,778 was recoverable from the consumer and as per the statement of bank account produced by the consumer, the said payment had been made through cheque.

The forum held that the demand of Rs 15,762 was wrongly raised and the amount due was much less. The forum said that had the PSEB raised the right demand the consumer would have made the payment. The forum further said that due to raising wrong demand, the consumer suffered a lot and as such compensation and cost of litigation were to be awarded.



Irregularities in issuing power bills
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 25
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to pay Rs 3,000 for not issuing the bill regularly to Ms Gopi Dhir, proprietor, Dhir Textiles Mills, Ghumar Mandi.

According to the complaint, the PSEB had been sending the bills to the consumer without taking the reading of electricity meter. The consumer stated before the forum that he had been visiting the office to get the bills as per the actual consumption of energy.

The consumer disclosed that one fine morning she shocked to receive a bill for Rs 37,684 for consumption of 9132 units of energy for the period from April 27 to June 28, 2001. After that she wrote a letter to the respondent for adjustment of the amounts paid from time to time. She further disclosed that the demand had been raised against the rules along with a surcharge of Rs 3,631 (as such total demand raised was Rs 41,315) which was illegally added to the bill.

The complainant said that she requested the respondent to withdraw the said demand, but to no avail. She alleged that there was clear deficiency in services on the part of the PSEB for raising a wrong demand. She demanded that the demand for Rs 41,315 should be quashed.

The PSEB pleaded that the complainant had been making the payment of the bills on an average basis. The respondent disclosed that from 1998 onwards, the meter reading remained 1808 and the consumer had been making the payment of the minimum charges since October, 1998, to April, 2001. It further disclosed that the consumer made the payment of Rs 28,719 during the said period and the total reading of the actual energy consumed by her was 11,157 units.

The respondent clarified that as per the consumption of energy, the amount recoverable was Rs 43,913. It maintained that after receiving the letter of the consumer for adjustment of the amount paid by him, an inquiry was made and she was directed to make the payment of Rs 15,194. It was admitted that the consumer had made the payment of the said amount.

The forum observed that there was no dispute that the amount was not recoverable on account of consumption of energy. The forum further observed that it was an admitted fact that the PSEB failed to sent regular bills to the consumer.

The forum held that there was deficiency in services on the part of the PSEB for sending wrong bills to the consumer, therefore it was desirable that the respondent must compensate the consumer for that.


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