Patna, Jan. 11: Queuing up to pay power bills is passé. Electricity consumers in the city can now pay bills at ATM kiosks of Canara Bank or avail net banking services.
The service would initially be limited to those having accounts with the Canara Bank. Two months from now, all 3.25 lakh power consumers in the state capital can avail the service and pay their bills through ATM kiosks of all nationalised banks.
Energy minister Vijendra Prasad Yadav inaugurated the facility today at the Canara Bank ATM kiosk at Vidyut Bhavan, the headquarters of Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB). He also launched the online electricity bill payment service through bsebbills.org. The service could be availed by using debit cards of the bank.
The minister also inaugurated an online service at Sahaj Vasudha Kendra to enable villagers pay bills from any corner of the state. On August 30, the board had entered an agreement with SREI Sahaj e-village Ltd, which runs Vasudha Kendra, to help rural people pay electricity bills at these centres without making any extra effort.
At present, 4,942 Sahaj Vasudha Kendras are functioning in 27 districts to collect energy bills. The facility would soon be extended to consumers in Bhagalpur, Banka, Chhapra, Siwan, Gopalganj, Saharsa, Supaul and Madhepura districts.
The officials present during the launch of the power bill payment service demonstrated how to pay online.
Indradeo Choudhary, a resident of Parigaon in Jehanabad district, and Sunil Kumar Sharma, a Canara Bank customer, paid their bills through net banking facilities during the inaugural run.
The board officials said the move would benefit all 29 lakh consumers across the state in future. They added that the board’s plan was to expand the service in other districts too.
“It is a big occasion today as bill payment would become much easier now. Since the collection centres are located in far-flung areas, villagers have to travel long distances to pay their bills. The (online payment) service would be extended to all the consumers in Patna soon,” said the energy minister.
When told that the service would benefit only those having a Canara Bank account, board chairman P.K. Rai said: “We will extend the service in the next one or two months. All scheduled banks in the capital would come under the ambit.”
Sanjiv Singh, a Canara Bank account holder and a resident of Kankerbagh, said: “It is a welcome move as it would save a lot of time and energy. Earlier, we had to queue up for hours to pay a bill.”
This step will come in handy as it would be easier to pay bills through the ATMs, as we are aware of the functioning of ATM machines.”