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Power Consumers Still in Dark About Rights

Safety

According to the Consumer Protection Act 1986, the consumer right is referred to as ‘right to be protected against marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property’.It is applicable to specific areas like healthcare, pharmaceuticals.

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Information

The right to information is defined as ‘the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services, as the case may be so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices’ in the Consumer Protection Act of 1986.

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Consumerism

Consumerism is a social as well as economic order which encourages the buying of goods and services in ever-greater amounts. This term is sometimes associated with critics of consumption beginning with Thorstein Veblen. Veblen's topic of examination.

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MERC Surway: Power consumer Still in Dark about rights

The Survey was conducted across the state to check the level of awareness of electricity consumers of MSEDCL and found that they have little knowledge about electricity ombudsman and services provided to them like determination of compensation and period for which power supply should be provided to them.

MERC is a State Electricity Regulatory Commission which was established by the state government. MERC has many powers such as regulating tariffs and solving problem of other mandate. 30 talukas of Maharashtra was selected by MERC for the survey in which Baramati zone was also included.

According to survey,  the total number of electricity consumers who were surveyed was 12,177 in which the number of urban consumers were 6,110 and rest were the rural consumers  ie. 6,067 and recently  its final report was made public. In the survey residential and commercial consumers was included in which  30 semi-urban areas and 120 rural areas was covered.

In the survey it was found that out of 12,177 electricity consumers who was surveyed only three of the consumers was aware that there are many orders passed by "Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum" or "Electricity Ombudsman" related to consumers rights and if MSEDCL (Mahavitaran) does not accept or cooperate with consumers than consumers can claim to MERC.

In the survey about 74.7 per cent of the consumers told that related to electricity connection they had faced many problems such as excess billing, voltage fluctuation and interruption or failure or even disconnection of electric supply and has complaint about it but no result was found.

Thus a major question arises What consumers should know?