Abinas Chaudhary was taken aback when he saw his electricity bill. A resident of Dhangadi sub-metropolis-8, Chaudhary is a journalist by profession.

"I was paying maximum 300 rupees per month as electricity; I don't know how this time the bill has run past 1,500 rupees," said Chaudhary. "Upon seeing the bill of 1,521 rupees, I inquired the NEA office and got to know that the NEA office had also added the tariff for the running month of Shrawan," he added.

The more interesting thing is that the month of Shrawan according to the Bikram calendar is just in its second week and the NEA office has already send bills to its clientele asking them to pay the bill for the running month as well by fixing the bill at its whims.

Kailali's Tikapur's Durga Bhandari also shared similar experience.

"I had already paid the bill of the month of Jestha, but when I gained the NEA office to pay the tariff, I was told to pay the tariff for two months including Jestha," said Bhandari, lamenting the carelessness of the NEA office.

This is the common plight of people in Sudurpaschim Province, where the NEA randomly collects tariffs from its clientele.

Meanwhile, Nepal Electricity Authority, Dhangadi, distribution centre Chief Surendra Chaudhary admitted that meter readers were unable to visit customers' houses.

"It's true that we haven't been able to visit people's homes for meter reading, so have been obliged to prepare bills from office itself on the basis of the past figures," Chaudhary said.

NEA Provincial Office, Attariya, Chief Jagadish Joshi said the excess amount in the bills could be adjusted.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 24 2021, of The Himalayan Times.