An 80-year-old man in Nalasopara, Mumbai, had to be taken to a hospital as he complained of high blood pressure after receiving an electricity bill worth nearly Rs 80 crore.
The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) took cognisance of the matter and corrected the electricity bill. The whopping amount mentioned in the bill was the result of a clerical error.
On 22 February, 80-year-old Ganpat Naik, who runs a rice mill in Mumbai (Nalasopara), got the shock of his life when he received a power bill amounting to Rs 80 crore. He is a heart patient and his blood pressure rose seeing the bill. Later, he had to be taken to a hospital for medical check-up.
Meanwhile, the MSEDCL said it was an inadvertent error and the bill was corrected soon.
MSEDCL clarified that the error was on part of the agency that takes meter reading.
“The agency had made a bill of nine digits instead of six digits. While we were rerunning the bill and making corrections, the agency went on and issued the bill to Naik. We have studied their electricity meter and given them a fresh bill of six digits. They are satisfied now,” said Surendra Monere, an electricity board official.
Naik’s grandson, Niraj, said they were working when they got the electricity bill and were “shocked” to see it.
“At first, I thought they have sent us the entire district’s bill. We rechecked and it was only our bill. We got scared because the electricity board has started recovering dues and arrears from everyone for the lockdown period,” Niraj said.
As news about the Rs 80 crore-power bill spread, the electricity board swung into action and an official was sent to correct the bill.
This is not the first time such an incident has happened. In August 2020, a 57-year-old man allegedly committed suicide by setting himself on fire in Nagpur. The family members of the deceased, identified as Liladhar Laxman Gaidhane, told the police that he was depressed and tense after getting an electricity bill of Rs 40,000.
On 9 August 2020, Gaidhane immolated himself after pouring kerosene on himself; his family members then rushed him to a hospital, where he breathed his last.