Srinagar: The government is all set to kick-start it’s much-hyped project of installation of around 10 lakh prepaid electricity meters to reduce Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses and provide 24-hour power supply in the state.
Sources said the project would start from April this year as the process of purchasing pre-paid meters had started.
In August last year, the government had outsourced the project to Rural Electricity Corporation Power Distribution Company Limited (RECPDCL).
As part of the agreement, the company would procure and install 9.25 lakh electronic prepaid meters in the rural and urban areas of the State, sanctioned under various schemes at an estimated cost of Rs 282.15 crore.
The company would also procure and install 2 lakh smart meters in towns and urban areas of the State at an estimated cost of Rs 126.54 crore.
However, sources said there was no specific timeline to complete the project.
The introduction of pre-paid meters is aimed to streamline power consumption in the State and to check pilferage.
Earlier, PDD had started the process of e-meters to control pilferage in 2005.
However, so far the department has only been able to meter 42 percent of the 9.65 lakh consumers in Kashmir.
According to a Power Development Department (PDD) official, of the 9.65 lakh registered consumers in Kashmir, only 3.99 lakh are metered.
Sources said the idea to install e-meters proved to be a dump squib as consumers in collaboration with PDD officials could easily manipulate the meter readings to their likings.
However, with new pre-paid meters, the usage of electricity is directly proportional to the amount recharged.
Chief Engineer PDD, Kashmir, Hashmat Qazi said the pre-paid meters would streamline electricity consumption.
He also ruled out any roam for theft.
“It is just like re-charging your phone. It will be entirely up to the consumers how much money they want to spend for using this service,” Qazi said.
He said due to the huge demand of pre-paid electricity meters in other states of India, the project got delayed by some months.
“There is a huge demand of pre-paid meters across India due to which the project got delayed but now the project has kick-started,” Qazi said.
The PDD is introducing smart meters and pre-paid meters for the urban and rural areas of the State.
As per the agreement, RECPDCL would undertake operation and maintenance services for the meters in rural and urban areas, at an estimated cost of Rs 44.53 crore.
The company would also manage meter reading and bill generation in rural and urban areas at an estimated cost of Rs 61.32 crore.