BENGALURU : The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM), under fire from consumers for its power supply issues, recently acquired a vocal critic dedicated to pointing out the issues with its power supply, especially in the Ejipura area. While Twitter accounts operated by BESCOM officials with the company name are common, in July this year, a Twitter user, who wishes to remain anonymous, started a handle @Bescom_WTF, which according to the user, is dedicated to storing all the power cut information in one place.
Over the past few months, the electricity distribution company has faced a lot of criticism from consumers for technical faults during rains, which often result in several hours of power cuts. With a sizeable presence on social media, several users have tried to tweet or post messages on BESCOM's Facebook wall to get some response to their complaints. As the helpline number 1912, is all but unreachable on most days, the social media presence of BESCOM was being viewed as a godsend initially until customers realised that the handles are rarely interactive and often give out canned responses.
The @Bescom_WTF handle, which is named Tortured by #BESCOM!! seems to be at the extreme end of action taken by thousands of consumers everyday just looking to get their power supply back. The users timeline, which begins with a promise to 'sue' BESCOM one day, then degenerates into derogatory language. However, the only consistent aspect has been the recording of every power cut in Ejipura, which the user diligently brings to the notice of the utility.
With a mix of sarcasm, witty comments and downright abusive language, the user chooses to leave his/her identity a secret. The only clue for officials to deal with the complaint is the signature, ‘Don’t ask for number, area is Ejipura, Bengaluru'. Speaking to CE, the user said, “I am a freelancer, working mostly from home I cannot work in the mornings as the power supply is not guaranteed. Since March, there have been daily power cuts at my place and I used my personal Twitter account initially to post complaints.
But my timeline was flooded with BESCOM posts, so I had to make this one. It helps me remain anonymous.”According to consumers, there have been regular power cuts since the monsoon started, and in several cases, even minor showers lead to houses going dark for hours. “Everytime the power supply is affected, we see at least four hours of cuts. There is no one to approach as the helpline is busy, and the local office never responds. We are left to fend for ourselves till they see it fit to come and restore supply,” said Rajesh Singh, a resident of K1 sub division.
Even 1912 is unable to help this Twitter user. “I have reached out to 1912 many times, but they have not been able to help,” he said. The company has, meanwhile, put out alternative mobile numbers of control rooms, which can be contacted for registering complaints. The BESCOM Mithra app can be used for lodging complaints as well but users say that with no information on the estimated time for power to be restored, all these channels are useless.
@NammaBESCOM It has been #raining here for about 10 minutes and I was wondering how come no power cut yet? Well, #BESCOM doesn't disappoint. God knows when the power will be back! #Rain has almost stopped now btw. #wtf * Don't ask for contact number. Area is Ejipura, #Bengaluru.
@NammaBESCOM You guys have shown tremendous consistency in providing us with regular power cuts. Power cuts EVERY DAY in the past week, including right now. #wtf @CMofKarnataka @BBMP_MAYOR * Don't ask for contact number. Area is Ejipura, #Bengaluru.