‘The competent body to regulate and control rates is Government alone’
Dimapur, July 22 (MExN): With regard to various complaints from the citizens of different districts in Nagaland on power issues, excessive labour charges and other consumer goods and service issues, the Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organization (NVCO) has urged the government and concerned departments to emerge as strong regulators and act sincere in the way of a competent authority.
In a press release issued by the Press & Media Cell, the NVCO said that it has received complaints in Dimapur against electricity services for frequent power outage which has affected normal life. The organization has termed it as “purely deficiency services’ under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
While electricity bills, as the release mentioned, are regularly paid yet the bills are adversely high. In this regard, a PIL has also been suggested.
Power Department is “a public service where consumers are legally entitled to enjoy electricity services,” the release cautioned. On unavoidable circumstances, the public has to be informed in advance through local dailies and radio, it requested the department.
The organization also stated that it has received complaints of non-locals charging excessive labour wage, where in Kohima citizens complained of non-locals who are engaged in construction work without any working experience charging not less than Rs. 500 as daily wage and the “so called mistry” charging not less than Rs.700 per day.
The NVCO also questioned as to why “our” people “pay more money to non-locals than the local youth.”
Accusing the government of not emerging as sincere competent authority in controlling excessive charges, it appealed to the government to fix proper rate and even revise rates as per market trends.
It later requested the office of the Labour Commissioner & Kohima Municipal Council to look into the concern without delay.
It also pointed that no organization or individual is competent to fix their own rates for services as labour, transportation including taxi fare and bus fare, photocopy, bricks and other building materials.
“The competent body to regulate and control rates is Government alone,” it affirmed.
NVCO also mentioned that with GST regulations no other tax or cash can be levied at check-gates or on any highways in any manner. “The illegal collection of cash at the check-gates/highways cause price-rise and ultimately all these taxes are realized by the consumers,” it said.
It further recollected on the food safety, stating it was alarming that almost all imported fishes were injected with formalin and huge quantities of adulterated ‘fresh fruits’ were detected.
Pointing that the enforcement wing and analysis wing under the umbrella of State Food Safety Commissioner have a long way to go and consumers are to extend co-operation and support to the department for the safety of food, it further affirmed that “unscrupulous trades and traders” will not be allowed these kinds of ventures where food safety concerns all. “We cannot allow anyone to make money at the cost of public health,” it asserted.
Stating that citizens as consumers and vehicle owners pay road tax which is solely entitled for good and smooth roads, it said that the government should give top priority to provide good roads.
Moreover, it relented that “festivals like road show or mini-hornbill should be secondary.”
It further blamed that the recent repairing of roads were washed away with the onset of monsoon purely due to “poor work quality.”
Questioning to who the blame should be meted out. It said “Are we to blame the concerned minister, PWD department or PDA Government?
It further questioned whether there were any violation of NPWD or CPWD rules in executing the works where no competent contractors were engaged in the work which had huge crores of funds.
“The Government should not take its citizens for a ride,” it alleged.
While many citizens called up NVCO to initiate protest against bad roads, Savi, yet, asserted that “our land should not become a land of protest and rallies” but, he added that on compulsion against circumstances and inaction from the government towards citizens pleas, it will undertake such actions.
Citizens can call up Nagaland State Consumer helpline through its Too Free No. 1800-345-3701 for any queries related to consumer daily complaints, it added.