MSEDCL pays heavy price for laxity; consumer takes home 2L

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDCL) has paid a heavy price for laxity when it skipped defending its own appeal in the state commission against a complaint filed by one of its consumers.

Nashik-based consumer Santosh Anant Marathe earned Rs 51,000 as compensation for loss of property after his house was gutted in fire 19 years ago and walked away with Rs 1.53 lakh as interest due to laxity on the part of the energy company to pay the dues on time. The esrstwhile Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) failed to defend its own appeal in the state commission, which led to the consumer demanding that the responsibility be fixed for the loss to the company’s ex-chequer.

The long fight put up by Marathe and his elder brother Sanjay is an example of how a consumer stuck by the law and registered grievances with the system step-by-step without compromising at any stage, thereby bringing the power giant to its knees and getting the entire refund credited to his account on March 7.

“It is sad to note that the power company failed to take efforts to issue the payment immediately once the judgement was procured. We feel had to file a ‘request’ to the company to clear our dues,” Sanjay, the elder brother of the consumer, who followed up the issue with the company, said.

It was on November 19, 1997, that electrical and electronic gadgets in about 25 houses in then Savarkarnagar, were damaged because of spikes in power supplied to consumers. Santosh Marathe’s desktop that went up in flames, gutting the entire house in the process. A fire brigade had to be summoned to put the fire out.

Having followed all legal procedures, Santosh registered a case with the local consumer forum seeking Rs 55,000 as damage holding MSEB responsible for the poor quality of power supply that resulted in his house catching fire.

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