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Power firms begin acting against staffers over inflated bills

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The power distributors have begun taking action against senior staffers over grossly inflated bills based on guesstimates amid the coronavirus crisis.
Dhaka Power Distribution Company or DPDC has suspended four, including an executive engineer, and asked 30 others to explain why the customers received the ghost bills.
Dhaka Electric Supply Company or DESCO has fired two meter readers and sent show-cause notices to five others.
The staffers facing the notices will also be suspended or sacked if they fail to give satisfactory explanations.
The other firms supplying electricity across Bangladesh have also wrapped up investigations and begun preparations for actions against the responsible officials, Power Secretary Sultan Ahmed told on Saturday.
Details on the investigations and actions will be revealed at a news conference on Sunday.
ATM Harun-or-Rashid, a director of DPDC, said they received 4,000 complaints over inflated bills but many of those were incorrect.
The company adjusted the bills of the customers, whose allegations were found correct in the investigation, he said.
“We’ve solved all problems in public hearings. There is no problem now,” he added.
People, however, continued to complain.
Actress Meher Afroz Shaon said in a Facebook post that she received bills of Tk 4,604 in January and Tk 5,457 but it rose to Tk 9,070 in March, Tk 20,693 in April and Tk 29,801 in May for using electricity by her three-member family at their flat in Dhanmondi.
Harun said the company was looking into Shaon’s bills.
AKM Mohiuddin, chief engineer at DESCO’s East Zone, said they found 927 customers had received double the bills than the electricity they had used.
The company refunded them, he said and added “flaws” in meter reading were found.


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