No online; consumers jam offline

Pothashang News Service: Imphal, December 8, 2018: Today, we live in a world where we can do everything from the comfort of our homes. Internet has transformed our lives. But with the coming of smartphones with internet and digital payment gateways has makes our lives easier. Money transfer, online shopping, bill payments for mobile and electricity name anything that you cannot do with your smartphones.

In such a time of ease and comfort, consumers in Manipur are facing hard time since the last few days in online recharge of prepaid electric bills as Manipur State Power Distribution Company Limited (MSPDCL) is not accepting online payment of bills.

After an office order dated 29th November, MSPDCL’s has issued another notice on 4th December 2018 stating that “Central Data-Centre, Guwahati may take another week for its restoration” of online payments of bills requesting consumers to get recharge from “designated vending stations of MSPDCL”.

Now as there is no option left for recharge consumers are seen in long queues outside MSPDCL’s vending stations for buying recharge coupons.  Th. Kiran Singh speaking to Pothasang while in the queue at MSPDCL’s vending station at Kakwa said that his family spent last night without electricity as he was not aware of the situation. Yesterday after coming back from office he learnt that his electric bills were exhausted and need a recharge and he tried doing it on Paytm, but was not successful, he said.

He thought it was due to internet problem so he tried it again but a popup was shown with the message saying “MSPDCL is currently not accepted payment”. He even tried to get recharge from MSPDCL’s official website but the site could not be opened, he added. He reprimanded MSPDCL for taking so long in restoration work.

This recent breakdown is not only giving hard times to consumers but many private recharge shops are losing their business. Though not authorised many shops selling mobile recharge coupons are also doing online electric recharge.

Kamal who is running a Cyber Cafe at Andro Parking, Imphal East, also does online electric recharge at his shop. He takes Rs. 20 for a recharge of Rs. 500 and Rs. 30 for a recharge of Rs. 1000. He said he earn Rs. 700 to 1000 per day only doing online electric recharge. But with the failure of online electric recharge he said he is losing a fair daily income.

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