KARUR: A daily wage labourer and his wife in Karur received a shock when they were presented a bill of around Rs 2.93 lakh by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB). Verrappan (50) and his wife Eashwari, a farm worker, live in a simple house with a steel roof and received the bill of Rs.2,92,574 this month.
They are residents of Bagavathi Nagar in Sellandipalayam of Karur, Their son lives in Bengaluru where he is employed in a private firm.
Their electric bill usually amounted to Rs 60 to Rs 80 every two months.
Later, as the Tamil Nadu government announced waivers on electricity bills for those whose consumption is below 100 units, the couple did not pay an electric bill for about four years.
They were flabbergasted when they received the latest bill. Eashwari said, “EB officials asked whether we are going to pay the amount by cash or cheque, which stunned us. We live in a very small house with three rooms and a kitchen. As we both leave for work early in the morning and return in the evening, we do not consume much electricity. Moreover, as our consumption does not exceed the 100-unit limit, we have been enjoying free electricity under the government scheme.”
She added, “We checked our bill this month as both of us had no work in the past few months due to COVID-19. We had assumed we might receive an EB bill after four years. But instead of a bill, we were given a shock by the EB.
We were told to pay a sum of Rs.2,92,574 for the past two months’ electricity consumption. Later, officials said there might be a mistake in the entry and asked us to sign a letter. We do not know what was written in the letter.”
TNEB sources said, “Rayanur TNEB officials made a blunder while entering the values of .electricity consumption. Instead of entering 4,945 units, they might have entered 49,450 units, leading to the chaos. The issue has been addressed and a revised bill would be issued to them.”