1912 - the helpline for all power complaints is now working in areas covered by 44 of the 50 public sector discoms. The government is also nudging private distributors to join the bandwagon.
For a common helpline, the distribution companies have improved its IT infrastructure, adding more to its data centres and customer care departments. But some cash strapped private discoms are reluctant to join, as the matrix required to operate the number needs more capital investment.
The service provider in 12 of the 44 centres catering to the helpline at the moment is public sector BSNL and 32 are operated by private telecom operators. To popularise the helpline, power ministry is pushing for it to be toll-free across the country.
"The power minister was keen that to popularise the centralised complaint and redressal system the call has to be toll free. He met the telecom minister and managed toll free calling in 29 centres. Discussions are on with other telecom service providers to join the toll free offer.
Consumers in the areas falling under the 44 discoms can dial 1912 in cases of power cut, fault in meter or metre-reading, fluctuation in voltage, sparks in transformers or any related accident. Their calls will be diverted to the master control room and then the complaint will be forwarded to the local station for repairs.
"In case of power breakdown or similar issues people go on a hunt. Confused, they end up calling personnel in the discoms. A lack of response leads to long hours of power cut even when the breakdown can be rectified n 5 minutes," a senior power official said.
Since the number will be connected not just to a control room but also to a data centre, a log will be created that can help the regulators to identify response to complaints, quality of service as well as the equipment supplied.
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