Say goodbye to all your power woes. Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL) Chairman and MD, MM Nayak, has announced that customers can now dial 1912 to register electricity complaints. People no longer need to line up at the electricity office or call landlines that are never answered to register complaints for a general electricity supply problem. The toll free number is available in Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, East Godavari and West Godavari in Andhra Pradesh.
The power ministry has introduced the four digit helpline for all over the country. The helpline is now in place for 44 of the 50 public sector discoms and private distributors are also being asked to start helplines, but they are hesitant to join in. BSNL is providing service in 12 of the 44 centres and 32 are by private telecom operators. The distribution companies have improved their IT infrastructure for the same.
A senior power official said that the power minister was keen to popularise the helpline, and he pushed for it to be toll free. While the number is toll free in 29 centres, it is not all over the country. Discussions are on with the rest to join the toll free offer. Power cuts, faulty meter readings, voltage fluctuations, transformer sparks can all be addressed through complaints to the toll free number. The number will be connected not just to a control room but also a data centre, this way a log will help regulators identify the quality of response to the complaints.
In a country where power-cuts and late responses to such complaints are the norm, this is a much needed move by the ministry. Now it just needs to be seen how the simple and useful idea will be executed with the proper coordination required from the power distributors.