'MSEDCL call centre in Mumbai unable to deal with city emergencies'

Aug 08, 2012, 08:15 IST | Priyankka Deshpande

Fire brigade officials claim power utility slow to respond to emergencies, say centralised call centre employees lack knowledge of city geography

Fire brigade officials trying to reach the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (MSEDCL) in emergencies are often left ruffled by the power utility’s call centre attendants. As all these calls are directed to a centralised call centre at Bhandup in Mumbai, fire brigade officials say those taking their calls are not well-versed with the geography of the city and are unable to direct the calls to the MSEDCL offices in the department concerned.

Of little help
A fire brigade official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the new centralised call centre of MSEDCL in Bhandup was not proving helpful as the employees there were not able to understand locations in the city.

The official said in the circumstances a speedy response from MSEDCL was almost never available in an emergency. Mahavitaran, as MSEDCL is also known, shifted its city-based emergency call centre around two months ago to its Mumbai office. The shifting of other call centres is also in progress.
The idea behind setting up the centralised call centre was to deal with emergency calls from across the state.

An MSEDCL insider admitted there was a problem because of the inability of the call centre employees to understand the location of an emergency. “All calls are first addressed by the call centre and are then transferred to the centres concerned,” the source said. “However, the employees who work for the call centre are unable to locate the areas where the emergency occurs and therefore quick help has become almost impossible.”

The source said that last month when an emergency occurred on Senapati Bapat Road, where some women came in contact with a live wire, the MSEDCL wiremen could not reach in time as they got the message through the centralised callcentre late.

Fire brigade chief Prashant Ranpise said such things had been happening since the last couple of months. “What we do is we also inform the city-based MSEDCL officials along with the call centre in the time of emergencies,” Ranpise said. 

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