I realized that if I was going to be away for a long time, I could ask for minimum billing on my apartment. I wrote to the contact email (Ms Jayanathi) on the BESCOM website...and promptly got a return email from her, telling me whom I had to contact, and the phone nos...and additional ones if I wanted more details.
The first few times I called Mr Lokesh, the AE at J P Nagar 6th Phase office, there was no response on the mobile. However, a couple of days ago, he responded, and told me what to do. Since my electricity bill is paid by ECS (Electronic Clearance Service), it was even simpler...I did not even have to pay anything in advance by cheque. He told me to bring a letter asking for the minimum billing, and a copy of my latest electricity bill, for reference.
When I went to the BESCOM office, of course, I did get some of the usual runaround. I Go to Desk A, Desk A says Go to Desk B, Desk B says Go to Desk A, I say, Desk A sent me here, Desk B says go to Desk C, Desk C says go to Desk D...at this point, I ask why I am being sent from desk to desk in this way. I take Mr Lokesh's name, and say that he asked me to come here. The mention of the name has a salutary effect. The person at Desk B takes up my paper, and goes through the records on the computer. He tells me that I will be billed only the minimum charges for the time period that I have specified in my letter. I come home, rather happy. I will have to check from the US, online, if my account is, indeed, getting debited with only the minimum charge.
Change happens slowly...but with a dynamic person at the top, it IS happening. I want to thank Mr. Manivannan, and other officers down the line, for making things easier for us consumers.