SRINAGAR: The Union Home Secretary, Ajay Kumar Bhalla, today chaired a high-level meeting to review the progress of Smart Metering roll out and power sector reforms in the Union Territories. Secretary, Ministry of Power, Govt. of India, Alok Kumar and Chief Secretaries of all Union Territories, participated in the meeting. Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, J&K represented UT of J&K in the meeting.
The Union Home Secretary observed that the ‘Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme’ which was announced by the Union Finance Minister during the budget speech (FY 2021-22) focusses mainly on reforms in the sector. He underscored that the scheme aims to improve quality and reliability of power supply to consumers and a financially and operationally efficient distribution sector. He said thrust on Smart Metering is one of the distinguishing features of the scheme, adding that the Smart Metering is to be rolled out in Mission mode in the Union territories, which shall eventually become a model for other states of the country.
At the outset, Ministry of Power, gave a presentation on progress achieved on Smart Metering in the UTs. It was informed that the places where Smart Meters have been installed in the country have experienced a considerable reduction in losses due to improvement in billing efficiency and collection efficiency. It was proposed that the smart metering project in J&K shall be funded under Centrally Sponsored Schemes; DDUGJY, IPDS, and PMDP and remaining funds shall be arranged by the Implementing Agency RECPDCL under Hybrid Capex and Opex Model.
Giving a brief on the proposal for rollout of Smart Metering in J&K, Chief Secretary Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta informed that the Government of Jammu & Kashmir would take up smart metering in mission mode. He said that the UT Government is committed to complete the said work within the stipulated time. He further informed that nearly 2/3rd of the energy consumption of the UT was in urban areas and industrial towns and the same shall be prioritized in this mission.
Smart meters will bring about transparency in metering, billing and collection which will eventually reduce power losses and ensure quality and reliable power supply to consumers. The meters will be read remotely in Data Centre at Srinagar and Data Recovery Centre at Jammu through communication channels, which will also facilitate the distribution Corporations to know the status of power supply at consumer end and take prompt action in case there is power interruption due to system faults or some other reasons.
Consumers will know their consumption pattern and bill on a real-time basis, by which they will be in a position to manage load and reduce their monthly bill. Since the complete cycle of meter reading and billing is automatic without human interface, the billing disputes will be eliminated.