Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB) plans to install one lakh electricity meters and repair 5,000 damaged or defective ones by the end of this year to check pilferage and keep tabs on all consumers.
BSEB spokesperson H.R. Pandey told The Telegraph on Sunday: “The power board has decided to provide all consumers with meters across the state by December 31, 2012.”
Elaborating the reasons for the new plan, Pandey said: “Installing new meters and replacing defunct ones would prevent electricity pilferage and reduce the recurring financial loss to BSEB. This would, in turn, improve the electricity accounting and help the board serve its consumers more efficiently.”
He added: “Acting on the directives of the BSEB chairperson, we are working on a multi- dimensional approach to achieve the target. Till date, we have installed energy meters to all consumers falling under the 33KV transmission line (industrial consumers) and to almost all consumers supplied power through high-tension lines.
“The board has started the process of appointing private contractors to install electricity meters with Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (Berc)-approved rates. The contractors would be selected within a month and they will have to finish the work by December 31.”
According to sources, the selected agency would be required to go from door to door to identify consumers who do not have electricity meters or those with defective, non-functional and old electromagnetic energy meters in rural as well as urban areas.
“After identification of the houses without meters or with defective ones, the representatives of the selected firms would install new meters or replace the old ones,” a BSEB official said.
He added: “The new meters would be installed at the height of approximately 5-ft and six inches above the ground in such a manner that these would be protected from direct sunlight and rain. The meters would, however, be easily readable even if their doors are locked.”
Pandey also discussed another recently launched initiative to involve local vendors to install energy meters.
“Officers at division or sub-division levels can now get the energy meters installed by local vendors as well. But this has to be done with the rate approved by Berc. The initiative has been taken to address cases where meters need to be installed on an urgent basis,” said Pandey.
According to sources, BSEB has at present a base of around 32 lakh consumers across the state.
The electricity distribution in the state has been divided into seven supply areas, 16 supply circles, 65 supply divisions and 200 supply sub-divisions.
Similar projects have been initiated in the electric supply circles of Nalanda, Gaya, Sasaram, Chhapra and Munger.