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Who is reponsible for transformer maintenance

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Power

I live in an apartment community.  We have a few transformers.  One of the things we realized recently is that our transformers really need some maintenance - oil level, dessicant cartridge, gaskets, oil filteration etc.  Then a question was posed - (a) Who owns the transformers - us or BESCOM.  Who is responsible for servicing them?

I have no idea about ownership and maintenance responsibility.  Does anybody know about this? Can you help with some gyan on this iquestion?

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murali772's picture

the sad reality

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I just had a talk with arguably the best known electrical consultant in the field in the city - a good friend of mine. He told me that for providing the connection (HT), BESCOM requires the developer to put up the entire installation, and maintain it for a year, after which it becomes the property of BESCOM. Thereafter, though they should be maintaining it, it never happens that way, and the burden falls on the consumer/ s (association, in your case). And, being a HT installation, the servicing and maintenance has to be carried out by a certified class-1 contractor, and the 'compliance report' submitted to the Electrical Inspectorate annually, when they send you the notice. There's a nominal fee for it all, which again you'll have to bear. But, far more is the bribe to be paid, without which the report will never get accepted - the usual places where they catch you are the 'Megger readings in the earth pits', which will never reach satisfactory levels till such times as the demands are complied with (well, part of the 'compliance' procedure, you may say :))) ). Most contractors will handle the job for you, and give you a bill for it all, adding their service charges for the 'special services' too.

Electrical Inspectorate was one of my constant nightmares when I was running my industry - check this.

Yes, it's all totally unfair, since it all adds up to the costs on the consumer. My friend has told me that he has an equitable solution for it all, and he will write up a note on it and send it to me within about a week. And, now that we have Mr Manivannan as the BESCOM MD, we can try getting them to accept it.
 

Muralidhar Rao
sanjayv's picture

Electrical Inspectorate / BESCOM

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Thanks for the note Murali sir.  In our experience, you have to pay BESCOM guys to come and do anything on the transformers and pay for the materials.  Otherwise they just do a crappy bypass. If it is their property, why should we pay?  Some of the repair work has to be seen to be believed.  I saw an MCB at the transformer where one phase had been short circuited with wire. 

This is a really unfair situation.  Seems like if you are living in an apartment, there are additional penalties.  You have to treat sewage, maintain transformers, deal with all and sundry who come and demand bribe, pay for ayudha poojas, deal with extortion rackets by BWSSB valvemen and AEs ... okay, I am venting. Back to subject.

Anyway, it is ironic that you mentioned "Electrical Inspectorate".  Just received a notice today. We have an LT2 connection (not HT).  However, they want to inspect the DG Sets, Lifts and something called the MSB which I am guessing is something like a Main Switch Breaker?  The inspection fee is a "nominal" Rs 16900/-.  Here is the best part- letter is dated 19 Feb 2011.  It was received today 23 Feb 2011.  According to the letter, inspection is on 24/01/2011 - which may be a typo.  And they want us to pay the "fees" on or before inspection date.

murali772's picture

that's the business of governance

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In our experience, you have to pay BESCOM guys to come and do anything on the transformers and pay for the materials.  Otherwise they just do a crappy bypass. If it is their property, why should we pay?  Some of the repair work has to be seen to be believed.  I saw an MCB at the transformer where one phase had been short circuited with wire. This is a really unfair situation.  

Very true. May be we need to take up with Mr Manivannan about issuing the necessary correctives.

Seems like if you are living in an apartment, there are additional penalties.  You have to treat sewage, maintain transformers, deal with all and sundry who come and demand bribe, pay for ayudha poojas, deal with extortion rackets by BWSSB valvemen and AEs

There are specialised estate management service providers, like 'Handyman', who undertake these servicezs on a contract basis. Even with that, the MC will have sufficient work on hand, ensuring they do a proper job. On the other hand, if the MC is undertaking it all by itself, it can be quite challenging, and will require one or two people working full time. In fact, I know of an apartment complex, where the general body decided to pay a fair retainer to a lady resident who was on the job full time.

We have an LT2 connection (not HT).

True - but, you have a transformer installation within your premises. And, though the transformer is the property of BESCOM, unless you ensure its maintenance, you'll be the one to suffer. And, if it fails, I expect they will ask you to replace it.  

However, they want to inspect the DG Sets, Lifts and something called the MSB which I am guessing is something like a Main Switch Breaker?  The inspection fee is a "nominal" Rs 16900/-.  

I verified - the fee structure is as listed here. For gensets - Rs 300 each (ours are all 100 KVA rated - I don't know if the fee will vary according to capacity); secondary cables, and switchboards (for the gensets) - Rs 600 + 600; lifts - Rs 1,000 each; MSB (main switch-board) - Rs 3000 each. So, totally, for us it came to Rs 17,100/- (last Feb - it's again due now). For all the rectification work, the contractor charged Rs 15,000/-, which, in the estimate of our estate manager, would have included about Rs 5,000/- for the Inspectorate lot.

The fees of Rs 17,100/- for very little work on ther part, is nothing short of day-light robbery - another instance, you may say, of the 'business of governance'. Mercifully, they are not charging for the inspection of the transformers. If they were, that would have been the height of insolence.

 

Muralidhar Rao
ManiSamuel's picture

HT Installation

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When a developer approches BESCOM for supply to an apartment project, he is required to install the electrical
infrastructure ( HT Switchgear, HT cable from the point of supply to the premises-sometimes kms away -, Transformer
LT cable from transformer to Metering panel etc ) at his cost based on the scheme of supply prepared by BESCOM. Once
the infrastructure is installed it is transferred to BESCOM ownership . Since there is a an HT installation ( even
though metering to individual apartments is done on LT tariff), it subject to safety audit by electrical
inspectorate prior to commissioning and anually thereafter.
    Being the owner of the installation, BESCOM is responsible for maintenance . However they hardly do anything any
work to be done is forced on the association.
    In addition to HT installation, DG Sets above 6KVA  and lifts also comes under the purview of electrical
inspectorate and is subject to anual inspection and certification. It is very  important to keep your records uptodate
since any accident will be investigated by Electrical Inspectorate  and if the records are not uptodate, it can lead to
penalty and punishment.

Mani Samuel

murali772's picture

will BESCOM replace failed equipment?

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@ ManiSamuel  -  Firstly, welcome to PRAJA.

Now, what happens if any part of the HT installation provided by the developer (and transferred to BESCOM) fails and has to be replaced? Will the association have to undertake the job, and bear the cost? Why I am asking this is, if the answer is yes, the association will then have to make a provision for this also in its 'sinking fund' (equipmant renewal fund) collections. Is there any precedent known to you?
 

Muralidhar Rao
Mani1972's picture

Transformer maintenance

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Dear Friends,

We at BESCOM regret that there is so much communication gap between BESCOM and the consumers. Indeed the concept of BESCOM participatory committees (BPC)have been introduced mainly to bridge this gap.

The adhoc committee is meeting and putting up the structure of BPC. After the BPC is constituted, its first task is to work out a strategy for information dissemination in a structured manner. Second will be simplification of the procedures and finally, work along with BESCOM is improving efficiency.

I would request the consumers to involve themselves more seriously in the BPC work. The Chairman for the adhoc committee is Mr. Shivashankar (98459.48988)consumer. Vice-chairman is MD, BESCOM. Pinning hopes on BPC.

regards

Manivannan, P

MD, BESCOM

Manivannan

sanjayv's picture

@Murali Thank you for your

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@Murali

Thank you for your interest and informative input here.  I am learning :-)  Even though the tranformer issue is not resolved, we are getting it serviced this week.  Better be safe than sorry.

@ManiSamuel

Yes, I am personally just starting to digest the inspectorate reporting requirements.  We have to change a few things to comply better with the rules.  I am not sure what the reason for some of the reporting rules are, but will write more on those after more research.

@Manivannan sir

You can count on active participation from PRAJA.  Best wishes for yourefforts to be succesful and of long lasting influence.

 

 

ManiSamuel's picture

HT Installation

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Dear Murali

     For the first one year , consumer  is responsible for any defects in the equipment or installation. The presumption is that as purchaser , you are covered under warranty from the manufacturers and installer ( contractor ). After one year , it is the responsibility of BESCOM to maintain it . However, many a time materials/equipment will not be readily available in thier stores and in their urgency to restore the power to occupants, the association ends up buying the materials. So it is prudent to allocate some funds  for upkeep of the HT installation. Association can take initiative in periodic upkeep of the HT installation . Then the risk of any major expense is low.

Mani Samuel

ManiSamuel's picture

BESCOM Participatory Committee

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 BPC is a very good idea . The problem stems from the fact that standard specification of transformer that BESCOM procures is bushing on both HT & LT sides, whereas  transformer installed in most apartments have cable boxes on both sides. another problem is that rating of standard transformer in BESCOM is 100& 200 KVA, where as in bigger apartments  the rating is 500KVA. The immediate step BESCOM can take is to include 500KVA with cable boxes on both side in their procurement programme.

    At  present  since the installation has to handed over to BESCOM free of cost , losses in transformer is not given due weigtage while procuring . However, it is a continuing loss for BESCOM during the life of the transformer .   A 1% extra loss in 500KVA transformer will consume 1800 units (KWH) per month contributing to T&D losses.

Mani Samuel

murali772's picture

4th tier BPC

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@ ManiSamuel  -  interesting points you have made - thanks. I am taking it to the notice of our association MC.

And, while the ad-hoc committee is presently working on the constitution of a 3-tier (sub-station, division, and Corporate levels) BPC, Mr Manivannan, has, at its last meeting, very kindly agreed to keep his particiapation in the discussions on PRAJA going, parallely. So, that can in effect be the 4th tier BPC.

And, with a leading professional like you also participating, I am sure, the entire community, as well as BESCOM, can benefit from it all.
 

Muralidhar Rao
sanjayv's picture

Updates on my experience

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Updating my experience.

1. We got our transformers serviced.  The oil quality was terrible as per test reprots of the vendor.  It was filtered to required quality and topped up and dessicants which had gone pink, changed.  Cable lug crimps were checked and rectified.  Nice 30k bill.  Fun!  The good part is that transformers are now in good shape.

2. Second experience today was funnier.  There is an air break switch where power comes to the transformer (sorry if I am getting some terms wrong).  One of the phases was connected directly by BESCOM when the support insulators and switch arm was damaged (no idea how the damage happened).  Of course, after this temp fix, it becomes our responsbility to chase BESCOM officials and so today (Sunday!) after months of chasing, finally they came and fixed it.  They supplied the parts and of course, did the work.  Billed us a cool few thousands, but no receipt.  Apparently this is the "standard" procedure.

While we sleep better knowing that the transformer side of things are in good shape this poses two problems. 

One, it is a pain to account for such cash payments without receipts.

Two, are we getting caught in a transaction where these guys go and get parts from BESCOM stores and then coolly "bill" us for the same without a receipt?

For any work, our manager just goes and talks to the JE.  Should we get into the business of only giving written complaints henceforth? If I give a written complaint on something which is serious (this particular case of shorting one phase is a clear safety breach), how do I be assured of prompt and fast service? We lived with this shorted phase for months because other issues led to us forgetting about this problem and hence not chasing BESCOM.

Mani1972's picture

Transformer Maintenance

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Dear Friends,

Three important points i would like to share here:

1. We all know that government owned organizations, normally,  do not work at the efficiency that we see in private sector. There are well known reasons behind that. What we need is to have a cooperative attitude in helping the organisation to help you, rather pointing the obvious. Because, BESCOM doesn't belong to any individual. It belongs to you.

2. If anybody is asking for money without giving a receipt, why will an educated, computer savvy person should pay that? Why he did not call up 22873333 to ask for clarification? Or ask for his senior officer's number to take clarification? My cell number is available in the BESCOM website along with senior officers numbers.

3. Most of the corrupt officers/system survives, because public feed them. How many of us check with all legal requirements before buying a property? Did we bother to check the rules and regulations governing the electricity supply? How many of you demand such information from BESCOM?

The change starts with us. We need to change the attitude from confrontation to cooperation. Think about it. It works.

regards

Manivannan

 

Manivannan

sanjayv's picture

A different perspective

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Mani sir,

Thank you for responding. The points I wrote here are not to be treated as a "complaint".  Before taking up my current role in my community - I was blisfully unaware of many aspects of how things worked.  Part of the reason for writing about these things here is to at least have a discussion on "how things work and what needs to change".  Sorry if that approach is naive. 

On your points:

1. Government owned organizations, normally,  do not work at the efficiency that we see in private sector...What we need is to have a cooperative attitude in helping the organisation to help you, rather pointing the obvious.

Sure, I agree and do not even expect government to act at the speed of a private organization.   But can we define the speed at which it will work?  What is definition of cooperation?  When the HV side of a transformer has a problem - we call and register a complaint.  Then we call the JE and follow up to remind of repair. Then call and remind again. Is that not cooperation?  Please help me understand what cooperation means. 

2. If anybody is asking for money without giving a receipt, why will an educated, computer savvy person should pay that? Why he did not call up 22873333 to ask for clarification? Or ask for his senior officer's number to take clarification? My cell number is available in the BESCOM website along with senior officers numbers.

In this particular case, I will tell you why. The educated computer savvy person had not anticipated having to deal with such a situation.  So that person went out with his family and the manager, a less educated and less computer savvy person paid up.  My expectation as a citizen is that such a demand should not be made in the first place.  is that too high a standard?

3. Most of the corrupt officers/system survives, because public feed them. How many of us check with all legal requirements before buying a property? Did we bother to check the rules and regulations governing the electricity supply? How many of you demand such information from BESCOM?

Agree that corruption survives because the public feeds them, but that is too simplistic an argument.  The public also has a life to live.  You cannot expect every member of the public who buys a house to be able to regurgitate the KERC manual.  In fact, now, personally, it will be impossible for me to buy another apartment assuming I have the money and desire to do so.  Invariably too many things are wrong already or will be wrong at the end.  Has the builder bribed while getting electricity connections?  How do I control or verify that?  Public feeds corruption is too simplistic an argument sir.

No, I did not check the rules and regulations concerning electricity supply. I paid a reputed builder to build my flat.  My assumption was that the rules and regulations are written and enforced in such a manner so as to ensure everything is proper when my flat is handed over and for smooth running subsequently.  I buy proper rated equipment at home, do not turn on water heaters or high loads unnecessarily. I pay maintenance fee in my community which hires a qualified electrician to do repair and maintenance, and I pay my taxes honestly.  That I think is a fairly universal definition of a good citizen.

All this being said, I am able and willing to cooperate in whatever way possible.

Mani1972's picture

Transformers!

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Hi sanjay sir,

Thanks for your response, though i did not expect a point-wise reply! My observation was general, taking a cue from the fact that even educated people in cities are ready for coughing up money easily, rather to wait and fight.

The second observation was about rules and regulations. No amount of excuses will justify why an individual does not read up what he thinks is important. If you are transacting 10 crore worth property, won't you read the 100 page document 10 times till you understand every word?

Finally, arguments never end. We both can argue convincingly for lifetime. The issue is how to solve the problem. You  (or your manager) felt that paying up is the best option. I feel raising the issue and fighting out is best option, as it will win the war for you, though you may lose the battle. Its the priority what matters; war or the battle.

The very fact that i have put my cell number is the website is to tell you that i am ready to join you in your war. The fact that we published the new number 22873333 is to communicate our will to stand by you, our precious consumer.

I can give 100 reasons why many employees of BESCOM are corrupt. But, i am more interested in cutting the corruption, that explaining it. Help me in that. Help me by not paying anything without receipt. Help me in telling everybody to read the regulations. If the employees know that you know the regulations, they may not even dare to ask you for anything! illegal things thrive in ignorance and darkness.

I remain

Manivannan

Manivannan

imran_huq17's picture

We need more people like Manivannan Sir.

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Manivannan Sir....May your tribe increase.

Regards,

Imran.

sanjayv's picture

Will try

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Manivannan Sir,

I understand and respect what you are saying.  Thank you for reading and  your patient reply.  but I do want you to understand my position, because it is that of several citizens.  Let me use the example of my case to illustrate the point. Our community of 500 odd apartments is run by a committee of 12 people.  Out of these, at any point in time, half will be busy with their day time jobs or family lives.  We run our community with the help of several agencies that are on contract for various functions.  Despite all that, it seems like every day brings a new crisis.  This is a time consuming job.

Since I live among the people I serve - I am strongly incentivized to make sure things are working; and to somehow find time for my personal life.  So many times, a small bribe just becomes ok - not that we like it at all, but the real battle we are fighting is for a good living community, peace of mind and time with my family.  A bribe sometimes makes that easier to achieve. Sorry for shamelessly stating this, but I have never claimed to be perfect :-)

An example - we had a problem with a particular agency that does not come under your purview.  The situation was dire.  We organized and fought via Executive Engineer's office, local RWAs, MLA, Corporator etc. etc. for two months.  End result, supply improved dramatically for a month, then dwindled and now is back to where it was earlier. We have been told through an intermediary that there is a way to improve things.  Every incentive in my life is screaming to acceot that offer.  That is the truth.

In short, many citizens are fighting the battle of living their lives.  Case in point - yours truly.  I think this point is important to understand. If you want people to join in the real war - which is for transparency and efficiency.  I will do my best to fight the fight.

murali772's picture

raising the issue

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@ Mr Manivannan

I feel raising the issue and fighting out is best option, as it will win the war for you, though you may lose the battle.

Sir, here I have detailed my experiences in handling various types of inspectors while running my own factory, years back. I don't think the scene is any different even now, since this is the info I gathered recently from the Homecare manager in the apartment complex where I reside (where I was the President of the association for the first three years, and currently a member of the MC), regarding the ways of the Electrical Inspectorate.

But, like I have stated, I have found it more 'convenenient and practical' to make this differentiation between bribes and mamools, and carry on a more peaceful life than if I were to confront the issue head on. But, my way of trying to eradicate it all, both bribes as well as mamools, is by raising the issue openly, and that's where PRAJA comes in.

Now, as the MD of BESCOM, I don't know if you have any say in the goings on in the Electrical Inspectorate. If you do, perhaps you would like to pursue implementation of the suggestion I have made of 'raaj-less inspection', by engaging chartered engineers.
 

Muralidhar Rao
kbsyed61's picture

Disappointing response!

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Bit disappointed with BESCOM MD's response. In all honesty, I would have expected the MD to assure the public via Praja that a slew of reforms are in pipeline to address all public interfaces that present an opportunity for bribe and corruption.

Not to say that we as general public can not be faulted. We are also at fault. That is only half of the story. I will be the first to acknowledge the fault on this side. In absence of other half's willingness to address the issue, me becoming a saint will have no bearing on evil of corruption.

Corruption in our public services and the service providing agencies have become so institutionalized that at times you will be left with no option but to head the advice for bribing babus as nicely illustrated in Sanjay and Murlai's comments.

Classic example of this is, some of us just going pillar to post for registering a society. It has been a year now, we are being heaped with one excuse after the other. If one ask around everybody will tell that pay the "mamool" or "Bribe" you get the registration done the next day.

Coming back to the response from Bescom MD, I think there is ample opportunities to initiate reforms and changes in delivery processes which could encourage public to dissuade from giving bribe. The point is people like Sanjay, Murali and others are willing to go the extra mile provided Bescom also takes steps in that direction.

Hope Bescom has the willingness and aptitude for bringing that change.

Mani1972's picture

Transformers and transformation!

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Dear friends,

At the outset i appreciate the honesty and frankness of both sanjay sir and Murali sir. I also thank syed sir for giving me an opportunity to dwell more into this subject.

I do not live in Utopia. Indeed i tell my friends that, in India, if you have to live without bribing anybody, you at least need to be an IAS/IPS officer! Thus i fully understand and agree with the view points of both Sanjay and Murali sir.

Then what i was trying to convey? My humble view is that, while bribing is acceptable way of resolving things in the society, unless otherwise a small percentage of people raise a banner of revolt, we will not progress towards a better society. This small percentage is what i call as 'critical mass' for any rapid change process.

If this critical mass is not available, then the change process takes its evolutionary time, may be few more generations. Its our choice to have a rapid change which we can see in our lifetime or leave it for somebody else.

My wish is that committed citizens like praja's should take the burden of bringing this critical mass. The ingredients are already there in our members. It just needs some catalyst and time. Have not the time come? I am optimistic.

Regarding Syed's comments, i am ok with some disappointment in the starting, rather blowing my own trumpet and promising things. I would rather work quietly and allow actions to speak. When i require help,  advice or suggestions, i rather do it with the small, committed group who have the domain expertise, like the BPC (BESCOM participatory Council), than in such public forums where the energy gets dissipated. I would rather use this to get the pulse of the consumers, and for dissemination of appropriate information, than for making promises, and get into publicity domain.

Syed sir, if you can take time to attend the BPC meeting, you will know what are the slew of steps we are taking to make BESCOM more professional and better the coming year. And its not the MD who is doing that, its a team work. No worthwhile change in any organisation can be brought unless there is a committed team which shares the vision.

I remain

 

Manivannan

kbsyed61's picture

Response appreciated!

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Manivannan Sir,

Your quick and insightful response is much appreciated. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. There is no denying that it is the partnership of enlightened citizens and the institution working together only can bring the desire results.

Currently I am based out of USA, but I promise you that at the first opportunity of my vist this year to B'lore, I would definitely like to experience the BPC proceedings first hand. Thanks for that offer. Looking forward to meeting you soon.

-Syed

murali772's picture

BESCOM - Praja Projects

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After taking over as the BESCOM MD, Mr Manivannan has already given effect to a suggestion (getting 'fire equipment' removed from the 'connected load' listing for computation of demand charges - check this), which evolved out of a debate on PRAJA.

Evolving out of the further discussions here, can we now make the following fresh suggestions:

1) The value of HT equipment (including transformers) required to be installed by a builder/ developer (whose value is of course being passed on to the individual buyers of flats/ homes), whose ownership automatically transfers to BESCOM at the end of a year, may be set off against common equipment/ area energy bills commencing from the time of  the ownership transfer.

2) In case of failure of BESCOM to replace, within a maximum of 48 hours, any part of the HT equipment (whose ownership has been transferred to BESCOM) that breaks down, the consumer may arrange for replacement, with the cost to be recovered from subsequent BESCOM common equipment/ area energy bills.

Though this will again amount to a further drain on BESCOM's resources, I expect Mr Manivannan will appreciate the fairness of the suggestions, and have them implemented.
 

Muralidhar Rao
sanjayv's picture

To add on to Murali

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I have not done the Math on the transformer suggestion by Murali sir, but I think there is a case to looking at how the fiancials of BESCOM work out (how does the utility finance network area and capacity expansion?).

However, I would want policy changes along these lines.

(1) An apartment or community owner should not be charged more than a regular plot owner for transformers and maintenance.  Currently, the costs of apt ownership and day to day living are spiralling out of control and I know some of our senior citizen / close to retirement residents are quite worried looking at the math.

(2) Apt owners, apart from the maintenance and other expenses also have a common area connection.  That in many cases is one connection billed at slabs such that after 200 or 300 units, you are paying for the rest at the peak electricity slab.  The government mandates things like Sewage treatment plants which are power guzzlers, and add to it expenses such as common area lighting, basement, pumps etc.  I wonder if there was a way to normalize this by the number of flats?  Something like how the BWSSB water is billed.

(3) One very important thing we should take from this post is the comment by Mani Samuel on transformer quality.  Selecting better quality transformers results in savings from an energy loss perspetive (the infamous T&D).  One of our residents who deals with transformers in his line of work remarked that our transformers are of a brand which is of a "cheap variety" made in what he called locations which look like roadside workshops. he also mentioned that this is the case with most builders.  So this brings up a pressing need for a good transformer equipment certification program and conditions on the builders on the rating of transformers used.  This ensures consumers get good stuff and BESCOM's network also has good tranformers and lower losses.

(4) We also noticed cases of poor choice of materials in our inspection of our assets.  The cables leaving the tranformer MCB had sheathing which had essentially degraded under exposure to the sun exposing bare wire and posing a potential short circuit risk.

(5) Another request from my side would be for an insistence on installation of PF correction equipment, since there are  alot of inductive loads in apartments (lot of motors).  i would imagine that the use of suitably sized capacitors at the various motors should easily do the job, but that was not done.  This hurts the power factor for which BESCOm duly openalizes us every month.  If BESCOm were to insist on PF correction for each equipment or an automatic PF correction panel, it helps both the consumer as well as the utility.

There are other apartment level suggestions that I will post separately based on my observations, because I feel it is digressing a little bit from the main topic of this thread. 

idontspam's picture

 Something like how the BWSSB

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 Something like how the BWSSB water is billed.

BWSSB sucks at pricing for water, hardly an example to follow. 

sanjayv's picture

BWSSB water pricing

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Actually, BWSSB does not suck as much as you think IDS, though they could certainly do some things a lot better.

In a multi family apartment, BWSSB recognizes that one meter services multiple customers and makes an allowance for it by adjusting their slabs accordingly depending on size of the apartment.  Otherwise, if we were treated as one user, we would be paying Rs 36 per kiloliter for most of our water while the non apartment BWSSB customers paid about Rs 8 per kilo liter.  I have no desire to subsidize anybody else, especially not someone living in an independent house in the heart of Bangalore. 

idontspam's picture

 BWSSB recognizes that one

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 BWSSB recognizes that one meter services multiple customers

Why is one meter servicing multiple customers? Why is it intelligent to make this manual subjective "adjustment" instead of metering & tracking every tenant seperately?

sanjayv's picture

One meter - I do not know

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I have no good explanation for why there is one (water) meter for the whole apartment complex and not one per customer other than the fact that it is not practical at this point in time.  Our current architecture has water coming to a sump and then to overhead tanks and then to apartments.  Since BWSSB does not supply 100% (actually, in our case, it is currently running at about 10%) of the water, the sump brings water from multiple sources.

Since each apartment does not have an individual sump for BWSSB water, where would you put individual meters?

Same for common area electricity supply.  That supply is for the use of all the residents in a complex for "common" activities, but is supplied as a separate single connection with the same metering slabs.  30 kWh at one rate, 70 kwH at the next rate, then 100 kWh at the next slab and so on.  99% of our common aarea electricity is at the highest slab, especially since we are a large apartment complex.

moiz19's picture

TO MR. MANIVANNAN - BESCOM MD - TRANSFORMER NUISANCE

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 Dear Mr. Manivannan,

 

After reading your discussions, I feel i am approaching the right person to help me out.

I live in an apartment in Jayanagar, and my apartment has a transformer unit in the front (main road) facing garden area, which my flat faces.

Connected to this unit are huge transformer poles on the footpath, just outside our garden.

I live on the 1st Floor, and my grandmother's room faces the transformer.

Since quite sometime, we have been observing a kind of a vibration in our floor.

We thought that our ground floor neighbours were working on a sewing machine or drilling something in the ceiling or something.  But the vibration never stopped. We did some observations, but there is absolutely no water pump, or machine in the garden area.

The vibrations make the bed and everything in the room vibrate, and makes sounds. On showing this matter to an architect, he said that it must be the problem of the transformer in the garden which is hardly 200 metres away.

This vibration needs to be resolved. Someone told me to go to Bescom office, but cautioned me that I will have to pay up heavy bribe for this. I was afraid of this, and hence was looking for going through the right channel. But how do we innocent consumers know the right channel?? Its like a maze.. And eventually we have to give up.

I request you to please look into this matter, as my grandmother, sister, and brother are facing alot of trouble in sleeping and studying.

The second issue is about the transformer poles on the footh path.

These are very old, and most of the times, have sparks coming out of them, and sometime big blasts too. This is a huge problem in the rains. Even the transformer on our opposite side  has the same problem. Cars parked outside, and kids playing in the garden are a big hazard. 

The only thing i request is, that we are a simple middle class family. And on behalf of all the other apartment owners in our building, 12 flats.. please remove the transformer unit and the adjoining poles from the front of our building and shift it to the opposite side, or any bungalow next to our flat, since all the bungalows have a big entrance and houses in the back of the property, it would not be a problem for them.

Please oblige and do the needful at the earliest.

Looking forward to your speedy reply,

Thanking you.

Yours sincerely,

Moiz

 

Mani1972's picture

Customer complaints regarding BESCOM

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Dear Mr. Moiz and friends,

Thanks for the post. It gives me an opportunity to share certain things with our friends.

1.      I understand that many customers of BESCOM have problems and grievances. As the MD I am sensitive to the problems of our customers and it’s my duty to redress them.

2.      But, the customers must realise that there is a procedure for grievance redressal. I do not expect the customers to air their grievance in any website of their choice and expect it to be read/addressed by BESCOM. The procedure is published already. Either you call the helpline: 080-22873333 or visit our website and log a complaint. If that doesn’t work, email/fax the senior officers of BESCOM. All the contact details are our website, including the MD of BESCOM, where the buck stops.

3.      I visit websites like Praja not to hear personal grievances, but to understand the broader issues concerning customers and share ideas with the committed citizens whom go beyond their personal problems. If it becomes platform for airing personal complaints, then I will have no other option but avoid spending my time on this. I hope I am able to get across my friends.

 Regarding Mr. Moiz’s complaint, I would request him to follow the procedure, and during the process if you hit and obstacle, do contact the senior officers, and lastly the MD too. It’s my duty to hear you and redress your grievance if all other channels did not help you.

 

Thanks and regards

 

I remain

 

Manivannan

pathykv's picture

BESCOM

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Mr. Manivannan is very reasonable.

We should not bother him for personal grievances unless the regular channel fails.

K.V.Pathy

murali772's picture

stick to broader issues, please!

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@ Moiz19  -  I expect you mean the transformer is just 2M away from your flat, and not 200M. If it's 200M, there can't be any problem.

And, I expect you appreciate that Mr Manivannan is being very fair when he says that he can address individual complaints only after you have exhausted the routine grievance redressal procedures. As compared to that, he has been readily taking note of the the broader issues brought up in this forum, and in fact, even resolved one - check this.
 

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Jurassic park

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Adverting to the comments made by Mr Mani Samuel and Mr Sanjay, on poor quality transformers, and losses thereof, I am excerpting below a comment made by me sometime back:

BESCOM is obliged to procure not less than 50% of its requirement of distribution transformers from KAVIKA. Incidentally, KAVIKA's original name was Government Electric Factory (GEF). Back in the 60s, the government decided that it needed to upgrade technologies and promoted NGEF (the N here being for 'New'). NGEF was a technology and market leader during its heydays. All the same, the government didn't bother to sustain it - politics playing a major part in its eventual death. The GEF (or KAVIKA), even with its outmoded technology and Jurassic age facilities, chugs along merrily, thanks to BESCOM patronage. For the full text, click here.

Well, protectionism accorded to the public sector, one had thought, was something of the past, But, unfortunately, it continues in namma Karnataka even today, costing the people and the economy dear. It's time somebody called the bluff, sooner the better.

Muralidhar Rao
kbsyed61's picture

BESCOM contact information!

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Couple of observation on BESCOM website.

  1. Comsumer can submit grievences here http://www.bescom.org/en/consumers/bescom-grievance.asp
  2. List of officers along with their contact information http://www.bescom.org/en/services/bescom-contactus_details.asp?action=&value=0
  3. To register complaints call @ 22873333

 

 

pradyumnaj's picture

BESCOM Monthly Billying cycle

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Meter reading For the month of March was taken on 1st of april 2011,But for the month of April it was takne on 13th May 20111 that is full 13 day delay were in billing amount is almost double becouse of Higher slab rate.

IS Billing cycle has been Changed Or Is this a delebrate ploy to charge the customer more.

With Regards

Pradyumna Jaganmohan.

 

vijay8204's picture

.

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sanjayv's picture

Txfr for 500 sq m. and above

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Vijay,

I recommend the following

1. Call BESCOM at 22873333.  Lodge a complaint.  They HAVE to log it and give you a complaint number.

2. If that does not solve your issue. call contact GM customer relations (Ms. Jayanti) gmcr.work@gmail.com

3. If that also is not satisfactory outcome, drop a note to Mani sir.  mani1972.work@gmail.com

 

sanjayv's picture

RTI response to transformer query

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Well, the cat is out of the bag.  based on the response to an RTI filed by an active citizen and apartment dweller in the neighborhood, BESCOM agreed that it is responsible for maintenance of transformers and other related HT equipments in apartments.

Here is the response as posted.  Click on link here.

 

murali772's picture

old story

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That's old story, Sanjay. Read Mr Mani Samuel's post of 4th March, 2011, scrolling above, and many more thereof.

Very plainly, BESCOM is giving a very unfair deal, in every respect, to consumers, and it's time the consumers collectively demanded that the services be privatised, more or less along the Delhi model.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Is it quality that the govt is actually looking for?

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The quality of our (Kavika) transformers is far superior to that of private manufacturers and the rate is competitive too. The expansion would not only increase the strength of the workforce from the present about 300 to 600, it will also bring down the expenditure on purchase of transformers,” an official said.
 
The state government is also considering a proposal to modernise another state-owned company, Mysore Electrical Industries (MEI), which makes switchgear equipment.
 
For the full text of the report in the New Indian Express, click here.
 
The problem actually lies in the fact that the ESCOM lot do not want quality transformers (as also other products). The procurement processes are in fact tuned to favour a few select contractors, and simultaneously also to ensure that a large percentage of the supply fails within weeks/ months of installation, in order to generate fresh contracts for dismantling and repair, with the engineers and contractors involved making huge money in the process. Having been involved closely with the transformer industry once, my information may be considered first hand. 
 
And, there is no changing any of this as long as the ESCOMS remain government-owned. A Manivannan may come and the activities may subside for a while. But, the mafia (which of course goes upto the political level) will ensure that he is moved out fast, and thereafter, they will resume their game with even more vigour in order to make up for the lost time. 
 
The question therefore is does the government want a solution, and does the Civil Society want to demand that of the government. If yes, Delhi has, as of recent, shown the way - check this. Good transformers, and other equipment, will automatically follow.
 
As for Kavika, as also MEI, it's best if the government disinvests from both. One had begun to believe that an overall consensus was evolving across the country that governments need to pull out of providing services, after having decided on that for manufacturing long ago. So, what is this talk of reviving these dinosaurs (read my post of 20th March,'11 - scrolling above)?
Muralidhar Rao

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