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A good precedent - Bescom penalised by court after engineer proves power surge ...

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Bescom penalised by court after engineer proves power surge burnt his appliances - The Times Group

Aug 20 2015 : Mirror (Bangalore)
Bescom penalised by court after engineer proves power surge burnt his appliances
Chetan R chetan rudrappa TWEETS @Chetan_VR
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To pay victim Rs 15,000 for damages to appliances worth Rs 7,720; he says `test case' to help others
Ever been a victim of a Bescom (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company) power surge costing your favorite gadgets and appliances? Here is a lesson to take.

AVR Adiga, a 75-year-old electrical engineer, didn't keep quiet after one such surge burnt his household appliances. Unlike many, he took Bescom officials to court and after a one and a half year battle, he won the case. The judgment came on July 29 and against the loss of Rs 7,720 he suffered, the consumer court awarded him Rs 15,000 in compensation. The engineer, saying the cost was immaterial, has geared up to help such victims fight Bescom in the city.

The victory to Adiga, who is also a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers (FIE) and a former employee of Bharat Electronics and Neyveli Lignite, said his struggle was more about awareness to be brought among fellow Bengalureans about voltage fluctuation that damages thousands of appliances in households every year.

THE INCIDENT

The incident dates back to an electrical accident on September 11, 2013, at Adiga's house in Basaveshwarnagar, which he said was the first in the 36 years of his living there. After a small bang was heard at around 11 am, he found his two 23 watt-CFL bulbs, eliminator of set top box for TV sets and invertor were damaged due to the high voltage. He said pieces of a bulb hurt him as he was sitting directly below them.

All his emails and communiqus to Bescom till November 2013 stating the cause of voltage surge to be the supply source and not internal source, had gone in vain.Then, he took the battle to the consumer court. Initially, it was a lot of excuses from Bescom officials, who maintained the cause to be a squirrel. Bescom questioned the engineer's claim stating that if the source of accident was their line, how could there be no complaints from other 214 consumers in the same line?
Supporting their claim, they said that the Bescom cable and the meter, which are primary sources, were intact, blaming the cause to be internal source.

However, Adiga then asked that Bescom seek a neutral and expert opinion on the technicalities of the issue from CPRI (Central Power Research Institute), Bangalore. He himself got a report from ABC Consultants, Chartered Engineers and Valuers an independent firm who inspected and assessed the matter before coming to a con clusion on the cause of damage to be transient voltage.Adiga also put forth three possibilities * on account of overload on lines, on account of short circuit, and on account of Earth fault. He also said that an animal or bird fault on the feeder could result in any of the above. The engineer also argued that there was no voltage generating equipment at his house. Bescom couldn't disprove it.

The manufacturer of the damaged invertor supported the claim that the damage could only be due to supply source. Citing deficiency in service, he was awarded a com pensation of Rs.15,000 and Bescom was asked to compensate within 30 days.

It is a test case. It will help so many people. The struggle was only to prove certain basic things * right of consumers guaranteed under the Consumer Protection Act. This case was simple as the Indian Electricity Act clearly states that in case of 230 volts supply, the variation could be only five percent plus or minus of 230 volts. But here, this standard was not kept or maintained.It's a menace and I'm ready to help people who suffer due to Bescom's deficient service, Adiga told Bangalore Mirror.
 
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