Guwahati, Sep 12 (UNI) Coming under severe public allegation for installing faulty new digital electricity meters, the Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) today launched a clarification mode and tried to clear the misgivings about the new meters.
Addressing a press meet at the ASEB headquarters, Managing Directors of the Lower and Central Assam Electricity Distribution Companies and Upper Assam Electricity Distribution Company Anil Sachan and D K Dutta respectively said the new meters were far superior to the earlier electro-magnetic and analog meters and had the minimum chances of recording wrong power consumption.
Responding to the allegation against the ASEB, brought about by the consumers and highlighted in a section of local media, Mr Sachan maintained that the process of awarding the contracts for supplying of digital meters to three companies was done through transparent international bidding.
He said the financing was done by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with 90 per cent grant and 10 per cent loan, and total transparency was maintained by the ADB in all its projects.
The MD informed that 17 bids were received and the final three companies selected after clearing of technical bids in Manila and later the financial bids were opened, as per norms laid down by ADB.
Pointing to the technical superiority of the digital meters, Mr Sachan said, " The metering is extremely precise by the digital meters and no tampering can be done by anyone. " Mr Dutta said the new meters recorded details in 25-30 parameters and it had a chip installed which recorded details if any tampering was tried with the meter.
In earlier meters, much electricity was lost without being recorded. But in digital meters, even the slightest consumption is recorded, he said.
Mr Sachan clarified that each meter was tested before taking delivery and the ASEB had special teams for checking meters with consumer complains, with Mr Dutta adding that vested-interest circles were trying to spread the misgivings.
Of the total 15 lakh consumers, ASEB was installing digital meters in 3.75 lakh consumers under the current programme, which started in April this year and will be over by December. The ASEB will be incurring a cost if about Rs 100 crore for the new meters.