Pending Complaints on the Rise at BESCOM

City Environment Topstory

Over 2,000 complaints per day are unanswered, staff and servers helpless.

A Management Information System (MIS) report published online by the officials of the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) states that out of 16,876 calls received on September 24 and 25, only 11,388 complaints were registered, and out of these, only 9115 complaints were attended to, while the rest remained pending.

In a day, thousands of complaints don’t even reach BESCOM officials. The 24/7 helpline does not function effectively, and even though other help-lines have been introduced by the BESCOM, for each of the five divisions of Bangalore, citizens still complain of power cuts and other electrical power issues.

Suchith K Naik, a resident of the Rajajinagar area said, “Due to rains, power cuts occur frequently in Bangalore and trees fall down on the electric cables, affecting transformers which then crash down.”

He further said, “In most cases of power cuts, people can’t go and lodge complaints physically, since this happens after working hours, so they resort to calling the help desk at BESCOM. But most times the complaints are not attended by the help desk.”

The pending complaints by the residents mostly include failure of power supply, voltage and meter complaints, billing, safety issues, and theft. Krishnakumar Balakrishnan, a resident of Electronic City said that the power cuts in his locality sometimes last up to six  hours a day, and even if the BESCOM officials pick up their calls, their language is sometimes difficult to comprehend, and  their problems take time to get solved.

Deepthi K, Public Relations Officer of BESCOM said, “If a power cut occurs or any other power-related issue occurs in an area, around 100-300 people call the BESCOM office at the same time. The help desk consists of 145 people working in three shifts, and there are only 30 active lines at a single time.”

The lack of staff and active line servers makes it impossible for the officials to take prompt action against all complaints. “Due to high number of callers at a single time, the server capacity can’t adjust with the caller complaints. To combat this, we use Whatsapp and Twitter accounts.”

The BESCOM plans are to introduce efficient online help desks, since the current ones only give a standard reply to all the complaints. “The update of the current system would be to revert by texts or tweets customized to the complainants.”

 

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