Saturday, February 17, 2018
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Electric meter

I received a desperate call from an elderly lady, a retired Government employee, who complained that some cheats, masquerading as bill collectors from the Power department have been harassing her. As she stays in an old building under Rent Control Act, the electricity meter is located in an open verendah and is accessible to everyone.

During the British period, when the building was made, none would dare to enter a compound to tamper with a meter. The staff of the Martin Burns company was perpetually under the vigilant eye of the management so that even if they had any intention of cheating, they couldn’t have done so. But now things have changed. And cheats, who know the thuggery  tricks in abundance are now going about  such houses, superficially  tampering with meters and then threatening the householder to send him or her to jail if she or he did not pay compounding fee. What happened in the case of the lady I know not. But the upshot was that twice money was extorted out of her. When they came for the third time the other day, and repeated the story, she asked them to wait as she said she wanted to know if she had the  amount at home which they were demanding. At that very moment, someone was seen entering the compound. The fake bill-collectors presumed that she had telephoned someone and they might be in trouble. So they fled. She says when she inquired from the Power House people whether men of such and such names were their employees, she was told that none by that name worked there.

The lady asked me whom should she approach. I told her that the Police have set up a cell exclusively to help senior citizens. She may contact them and seek protection from such intruders, such cheats.
Meanwhile I would like to alert all readers that if they are living in old bungalows with meters installed in uncovered verendaahs, they must take special care to ensure that no one enters the premises by keeping shut the main door. They must also seek advice from the UPPCL authorities.

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