THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Shoddy power supply to a consumer who lives in an isolated area of Idukki district, has landed the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) in trouble.
Frequent power outages at his home prompted K R Prakash of Kavumprayil House, Chithirapuram, to approach the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Idukki, which ordered the KSEB to pay him `2,000 as compensation and `1,000 towards costs. Although the KSEB appealed to the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, the latter also has upheld the district forum decision. The State Commission pointed out that KSEB is bound to compensate its consumers if it does not meet the ‘Standards of Performance’ prescribed by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission. Prakash had first complained to the KSEB in June 2012 about the frequent outages. Allegedly nothing was done, and he filed a case before the district forum demanding `10,000 as compensation for the mental agony he and his family were undergoing and `3,000 towards costs.
The KSEB contended that the outages could be due to technical snags. Prakash’s home was 40 km away from the KSEB section offices, and the way to it was through steep terrain and slippery rocks. This often prevented KSEB officials from attending to complaints during odd hours. The commission accepted the KSEB’s argument in part, but observed that Prakash’s problem was a genuine one. “The reason attributed by the complainant is deliberate negligence and contended by KSEB as due to technical reasons. Whether it is deliberate or not, the complainant has suffered due to power failure. Power failure is an admitted fact. The opposite party (KSEB) is bound to supply power except in case of technical and other reasons beyond its control,’’ the State Commission noted. Adv Sreevaraham N G Mahesh appeared on Prakash’s behalf.