‘This will streamline power consumption, check pilferage’
The government is planning to install pre-paid electricity meters to streamline the electricity consumption and check pilferage in Jammu Kashmir.
The State’s Power Development Department (PDD) is contemplating to come up with a new project under to install pre-paid electricity meters at a mass level and smart electricity meters on pilot basis for judicious use of electricity in the State.
According to a PDD official, the department was not able to collect acute data from the already installed meters with post-paid billing option.
He said the new electricity meters would be more efficient and accurate and help streamline electricity consumption in the State.
Chief Engineer PDD Kashmir, Hashmat Qazi told Rising Kashmir that the new meters would help conserve electricity.
“Sometimes consumers don’t know how much electricity they use and when the bill gets generated, they find bills beyond their budget. So it is the best way of conserving electricity and economising,” he said.
Qazi said when consumers would recharge their accounts in advance it would help them use electricity in a judicious manner.
The pre-paid electricity meters would stop functioning once electricity consumed exceeds the amount already recharged.
Then consumers would be given a card through which they can recharge their meters.
Qazi said the move was aimed at consumer convenience as well.
“The consumers will not need to go to bank and wait for post-paid electric bills,” he said.
Qazi said there was no specific timeline to complete the project.
“We don’t have a specific timeline on this. The decision has been taken to outsource it. It will take some time,” Qazi said. “I want to get a public response on the move.”
According to officials, the installation of new meters would reduce the role of PDD’s field staff and help check electricity pilferage, a major reason of revenue loss to the State.
They said around 9 lakh new meters would be procured and the tendering process was at the final stage.
The smart meters would be connected to a centralised system from where the power consumption would be monitored by PDD and this would provide a pattern of power consumption to the department.
Officials said the consumers with smart meters would be updated about the pattern of usage of energy, recharge payments, and other relevant information through mobile phone numbers.