Majid Kapra

PDD: No decision taken yet on installation of prepaid electric meters

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Srinagar, March 29: Power Development Department (PDD) on Friday refuted the media reports suggesting that prepaid electric meters will be installed by April this year in the state and said the government is yet to take any decision in this regard.

Talking to Kashmir Images, PDD Chief Qazi Hashmat said the plan of installing prepaid electric meters in the state is just a proposal which has not been finalized by the government yet. “This is just a proposal and the government is yet to take any decision in this regard. We have not issued any formal order to install prepaid electric meters. These are baseless reports,” said PDD Chief.

PDD Chief while appealing people not to pay heed to ‘unjustified’ reports said the work on the proposal may be started this year, he was however quick to add that it is difficult to comment on when installation takes place.

It is in place to mention that state government is mulling to install smart prepaid electric meters in the state with approximately 11 lakh meters already ordered by the authorities concerned.

The move according to sources was taken to reduce Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses and to provide round the clock power supply to the state.

If sources are to be believed, state government in a bid to curb misuse of power in the state especially in Kashmir had allotted the project to Rural Electricity Corporation Power Distribution Company Limited (RECPDCL) past year.

Sources said 10 lakh digital prepaid meters would be installed under various schemes in rural areas at the average cost of around 300 crore with 2 lakh smart meters in towns and urban areas of the State at an estimated cost of Rs 126.54 crore.

The e-metering system was introduced by the government in Jammu and Kashmir in the year 2005; however, the department so far has only been able to bring 42 percent of the 9.65 lakh consumers in Kashmir under the ambit of E-metering system.

On one side the government mulls to introduce smart meters to stop pilferage while on the other consumers are up in arms against the decision saying the department other than solving problems people face often comes with despotic plans.

“In places like Kashmir people always strive for essentials. People in both metered and non-metered areas pay monthly electricity bill on time, however we often reel under darkness,” said Shah Mushtaq, a retired government official.

He said the government before coming up with senseless ideas which often spark anger among common masses should work on streamlining the sick system.

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