Saturday, July 29, 2006

Few takers for KPTCL's 24-hour helpline

Few takers for KPTCL's 24-hour helpline

The Hindu

All India Radio has set up the helpline for KPTCL

# Dial 080-22370711/22/33/44 to register complaints
# Name, RR number, address, subdivision and other details have to be provided
# Complaints are forwarded to the assistant executive engineer concerned

BANGALORE: There are few takers for the 24-hour Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) helpline set up to file complaints on problems related to electricity supply in the State.

The system, which was launched in April, got nearly 400 calls in the first month. In the succeeding months there has been a gradual decrease in the number of complaints received. While in May there were 286 complaints, there were only 164 complaints in June. Till July 25, about 160 complaints had been registered. The helpline, called Prasara Jyothi, said to the first in the country, has been set up by All India Radio (AIR), Bangalore division, for Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (KPTCL).

Lack of awareness about the helpline is said to be the reason for the decrease in the number of complaints received. "AIR and Doordarshan will shortly run promos and make people aware of the facility. For the past couple of weeks, Chandana channel has been running a scroll during the weekly phone-in programmes on electricity supply indicating the telephone number of the facility," said K. Gunashekara, Director (Marketing) of Prasar Bharati. This was to make people in Bangalore as well as other parts of the State aware of the helpline, he added.

A letter has been sent to KPTCL asking it to issue instructions to all the electricity supply companies (ESCOMs) to print the telephone number of the helpline on electricity bills. However, an official of the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company said there was no space on the new electricity bill, issued on the spot, to include the number of the helpline.

Quick solution

The helpline has been effective in getting officials to solve the problems of customers quickly, some within 48 hours. "Of all the complaints received from when the helpline was launched, only 300 are pending. A range of complaints from fluctuation in power supply to billing-related queries has been received. A few pending complaints relate to policy matters," said R. Narasimhaswamy, Superintending Engineer, Prasar Bharati.

The complaints registered here include those aired by people in phone-in programmes organised by AIR and Doordarshan, he added.

The helpline has enabled all the ESCOMs to maintain a record of the complaints and the time taken for redressal, which was not possible in the earlier system. The managing directors of all the ESCOMs receive a daily, weekly and a monthly report of the complaints received.


Inspired by the success of the initiative with KPTCL, Prasar Bharati has drawn up plans to extend the IVRS facility for redressing grievances related to urban local bodies and the public distribution system. "There are six slots available in the room used for the IVRS. The Bangalore Development Authority has shown interest in the facility," Mr. Gunashekara said.

Representatives of AIR's Patna and Mumbai divisions recently visited the IVRS facility here to study it and develop a similar system for public utilities in their States.


Post a Comment

<< Home