Amid a spate of protests against exorbitant electricity bills in the metropolis, West Bengal Power Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhaya on Friday said CESC Ltd will have to justify the "exaggerated billing", a charge denied by the power utility.
Several people have taken to the streets over the last few days to voice their displeasure against "inflated" bills, while social media has been equally abuzz with posts underlining the discontent of CESC subscribers.
"I have been flooded with complaints for the last two days over exaggerated billing by CESC. Today, I have asked them to either justify why they are charging so much or adjust the bills accordingly. We won't tolerate this," Chattopadhyay told PTI.
When contacted, CESC vice-president (Distribution), Avijit Ghosh, said the latest bills reflect the charges of the current and previous two months.
"The bills appear to be inflated as it contains actual usage charges of last month and the amount of under-recovery or arrears of at least April and May," he said.
Ghosh said during the lockdown period, charges were arrived at after computing the average usage of the last six months. But this way, the units consumed turned out to be "much lower" than the summer months, he added.
"For the convenience of customers, we are offering an option for instalment payments -- 50% now and 25% each in the next two months.We assure everyone that due slab benefits have been reflected in the bills," Ghosh said.
CESC supplies electricity to Kolkata and the greater Kolkata region, while state-run power utility, the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL), caters to other districts.
The RP Sanjiv Goenka group company had also faced flak during post-cyclone Amphan restoration work for the time it took to restore supply in several areas of the city.