Green Action Week observed

The theme of the Green Action Week 2015 campaign, conducted from 28 September to 4 October by the CERC-ENVIS (CERC-Environment Information System) centre, was ‘Safer and more sustainable food for all’. The purpose of the campaign was to generate awareness among consumers of Ahmedabad city, Gujarat about consumer rights, consumer protection, organic food and organic farming.

The objective was to encourage consumers to purchase organic foods, specially pre-packaged ones labelled ‘organic’, and thereby shift towards a sustainable pattern of consumption. The campaign was targeted at students, parents and general consumers. The activities included power point presentations, talks on local TV channels and skits by professionals. These were organised at various academic institutions and a huge mall in the city.

The CERC-ENVIS centre collaborated with consumer clubs of different schools to address the three important ‘A’s regarding organic food: (i) Authenticity, (ii) Availability and (iii) Affordability.

CERC-GSK sets up second extension centre


To reach out to the most vulnerable, marginalised and backward communities and to strengthen them by providing advisory services and help in redressing their grievances, the CERC-GSK opened its second extension centre at Samerth, a voluntary women’s organisation located in Juhapura, a minority community area of Ahmedabad.

The centre was inaugurated by Mrs. Bharti Das, Joint Secretary and Chief Controller of Accounts, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Government of India, on 6 October 2015. Mr. Girish Chandra, Deputy Secretary (Consumer Welfare Fund) and Mr. N. Natarajan, Principal System Analyst, of Dept. of Consumer Affairs, and the GSK team from CERC attended the function. Around 80 women were gathered at the function. The Centre, a part of the outreach programme of the CERC-GSK, has started functioning on Tuesdays from 10.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. to begin with.

CERC takes part in Daan Utsav


As part of this year’s Daan Utsav (earlier called the Joy of Giving Week), Blind People’s Association, Ahmedabad asked 22 other NGOs (including CERC) to invite their donors to an evening of music and gourmet food, to raise funds for their causes. An event called ‘Food For Change’ was organised this year on Gandhi Jayanti, 2 October 2015.

CERC participated in this programme under Grahak Suvidha Kendra banner to raise consumer awareness on consumer rights and consumer protection. More than 250 consumers of the city visited CERC’s stall. Mr. Praful Amin, CERC trustee, Mr. Uday Mawani, CEO of CERC, Mr. Jose Emmanuel, Mr. Girish Shah, Ms. Meghavi Joshi, Ms. Minal Shukla, Ms. Anindita Mehta, Ms. Dolly Jani, Ms. Ashoka Ghosh and Ms. Shweta Mahajan took part in the programme.

Awareness materials and subscription forms were distributed. The visitors were advised to call on the toll-free helpline number or contact the complaints department of CERC if they were facing any consumer related issues.

Auditing of billing and metering system demanded


In a letter addressed to the secretary, Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC), CERS has demanded appointment of an independent auditor from outside Gujarat to audit the metering and billing system of four state-owned distribution companies (DISCOMs) of Gujarat. It has criticised the DISCOMs for not having in place proper systems. The inefficiency of the DISCOMs is putting an additional burden on honest consumers of Gujarat who pay their electricity bills regularly.

CERS has also demanded that these four DISCOMs recover a huge amount from defaulters which will reduce tariffs in Gujarat. At present, the inefficiencies of DISCOMs are being shown as transmission and distribution losses which are as high as 27.8% in Gujarat.

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