On 3rd June, Sunday afternoon two people pretending to be BESCOM officials talked R Nagarajan and his wife Swarnalatha, residents of BTM second stage, into buying fake CFL bulbs.
According to Nagarajan, one of the posers identified himself as a Junior Engineer, Srinivas. The poser then convinced Nagarajan that BESCOM was distributing CFL lamps to senior citizens to use in place of the regular incandescent bulbs.
Nagarajan says, “they gave us 12 lamps for free and another 12 for the cost of Rs 2400, which was supposed to be adjusted in the subsequent electricity bills in the next 4 months.”
No receipt was given and the bulbs given were also not ISI marked and cost only Rs 34 per piece. When Nagarajan tried to complain about this to BESCOM, they refused to entertain his complaint.
Citizen Matters spoke to BESCOM MD, P Manivannan about the issue
Is there any kind of drive from BESCOM to distribute CFL bulbs. If yes, then how to authenticate it?
BESCOM does NOT have any such drive. We have indeed planned such a scheme and issued work order to a company owned by the Govt of India. But, they are yet to start the project due to policy changes.
How to avoid these kind of cheating?
They can call our helpline: 22873333 and report to us, so that we catch the impersonators red-handed. You can also give wide publicity. We are thinking whether we have to give a advt in the newspaper. Indeed one such advt was given last year.
If they(cheats) produce a fake ID card pretending to be a BESCOM official, what should be done to re-check?
Any issue regarding BESCOM, call us at 22873333. It works 24×7. They will inform the police immediately.
Any information you want to pass on to warn residents or other ways to prevent these incidents.
If BESCOM does such a thing, it will give wide publicity in the media. So, do not entertain anybody from BESCOM or any other organisation whenever they ask for any money, unless you call up the helpline and confirm they are bonafide.
The affected (Nagarajan and Swarnalatha) complained about this incident to BESCOM officials but they refused to entertain it. Why?
We checked this and are unable to trace whom they complained to. Even if complained, our staff cannot do anything legally, unless we grab those impersonators and give them to police. Our staff are there to serve you on electrical issues, and they are not trained to respond/catch impersonators. So, next time, inform the local police.
But, yes, if we get such info further, we will contemplate issuing an advertisement. We
will also ask our staff to check for such incidents. We feel concerned about such happenings and want to ensure that citizens are not cheated in the name of BESCOM.⊕