J&K embarks on massive drive to install electricity meters

Srinagar, Feb 4 (PTI) The Jammu and Kashmir governmenthas embarked on a massive drive to install more than sevenlakh electricity meters in cities, towns and villages of thestate over the next three years to check huge losses due totransmission losses and theft.

"The government would complete cent per cent metering ofthe electricity supply by end-2013 to ensure judiciousconsumption of electricity and to check power thefteffectively," State Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather saidwhile addressing a meeting here yesterday.

He said seven lakh electronic meters will be installedduring the period in all towns and villages of the country,which is mandatory as per the J&K Electricity Act, 2010.

"The government will provide every possible logisticsupport to the Power Development Department (PDD) in thisregard," Rather said.

The metering drive was started in 2003 during thegovernment headed by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, but it was limitedto cities and towns.

However, after the passing of the Electricity Act lastyear, the government has launched the drive afresh and is evenreplacing the previously installed meters, which weremalfunctioning in the winters.

Rather said effective metering was necessary forproviding better and assured power supply to the consumers.

He asked the PDD to should convince people that themetering system is people-friendly and in the larger interestsof the common masses.

"A sustained and vigorous awareness campaign needs to belaunched through the print and electronic media about therepercussions of power theft. The government supplies about850 MW of power to the consumers against the 300-MW loadagreement, which was against the interests of the state andunconvincing before the Planning Commission of India," headded.

Rather asked the department to complete computerisationof the billing system positively by end-April to checkpilferage of revenue and also for the overall convenience ofthe consumers by minimising the direct interface betweenconsumers and the PDD''s field functionaries.

He said metering and computerisation of the billingsystem will be important milestones for bringing about reformin the power sector.

The minister urged the PDD to safeguard the revenueinterests of the government.

"The state''s overall development is subservient to betterrevenue generation. Extra efforts of the officers andengineers of the PDD are needed to complete the revenuerealisation target of Rs 592 crore this fiscal," he said. PTIMIJ ARV

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