Govt outsources installation of prepaid electricity meters in JK
Srinagar, Nov 1: Government has outsourced the project for installation of around 10 lakh prepaid, smart electricity meters in the state to Rural Electricity Corporation Power Distribution Company Limited (RECPDCL).
The project assigned to the private firm costs over Rs 400 crore.
An official of the Power Development Department (PDD) said prepaid meters would have to be recharged just like a prepaid mobile phone number.
“The consumers will be given a card for recharging the meters. Once the electricity consumed exceeds the recharge amount, the meter will stop functioning,” the official said.
The official said they would also reduce the role of field staff.
“They will give accurate information and will be connected to centralized system,” the official said.
The government started the installation of meters over a decade ago. However, over half of the registered connections are yet to have meters.
“Some of the already existed meters developed faults and technical snags and there are always chances of errors,” the official said.
The official said that the company has been told that new meters should be of better quality.
The department had envisaged to meter to all its consumers by the end of the 2020.
“The metering process has been slow due to situation in the state and due to resource constraints,” the official added.
The official said that PDD has projected installation of 1147723 meters from 2015 to 2019 in domestic and non-domestic categories.
Chief Engineer PDD, Hashmat Qazi, said, “We don’t have an automated metered reading system. That is manual system in place. Sometimes, meter readers can make a mistake, since there is a human interference. In prepaid and smart meters, nobody needs to take reading and there is little room for any error.”
However, he ruled our privitisation of electricity.
“We have outsourced metering. If someone has to install a meter and pole, it is to be done by a contractor,” he added.