Consumers who are charged more than the MRP by shopkeepers and hotels can now file their complaints on WhatsApp or dial up the Weights and Measures department for appropriate action.
The move follows a recent judgment of the Thane District Consumer Redressal Forum, which ordered a lodging hotel in Thane city to pay compensation to a consumer for charging 10 times more than the MRP for three bottles of a branded mineral water.
An official from the state Food and Civil Supplies department said that people can now WhatsApp their complaints on 9869691666 or dial 022-22886666 between 10 AM to 5.30 PM to register their complaints.
“A special cell has been created in the Weights and Measures department to screen the complaints and take follow up action,” he said.
“Plans are to make it mandatory for shopkeepers, eateries and other establishments selling food items to put up these numbers for public knowledge. The government also plans to make these numbers function 24X7 soon,” he said.
At present, the law provides for imposing fines on shopkeepers overpricing than the stated MRP.
The Weights and Measures Act-2011 provides for inspectors to take action against such shopkeepers. However, given the wide scope of the work that the inspectors have to do, the state government has constituted state-level and municipal corporation-level vigilance committees.
The duties of these committees include alerting the inspectors about incidents of overpricing, referring the complaint against shopkeepers to the competent authority and displaying the telephone numbers of vigilance committee members for the knowledge of everyone.