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June 30 deadline for power meters

Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (Berc) has directed the two power distribution companies to achieve cent per cent metering in the state by June 30.

In its recently announced tariff rate for 2014-15 on February 28, the commission recommended a slew of measures to North Bihar Power Distribution Company Ltd and South Bihar Power Distribution Company Ltd to provide better and efficient service to consumers.

The measures include timely delivery of bill, opening up of a revenue collection centre, cent per cent metering, prompt supply to new consumers and providing at least one or two hours of supply in rural areas in the evening.

Laying emphasis on cent per cent metering, the regulatory body said about 94 per cent of the consumers were metered as on September 30, 2013, and this must be increased to cent per cent by June 30 to check high distribution losses.

“Providing meters to all consumers was to be completed by December 2013. One of the reasons for the high distribution losses is the non-metering of consumers. The South Bihar Power Distribution Company Ltd has been directed to submit compliance of cent per cent metering by June 30, as the government has already provided funds for the purpose,” the tariff order stated. The regulatory body didn’t propose any hike in power tariff rate for the next fiscal starting April 1.

To provide regulated hours of power supply in rural areas, the commission has directed the distribution companies to ensure that the villages receive power supply at least for one to two hours everyday between 6pm and 9pm.

It appreciated the distribution companies for taking measures to improve the grievance redressal mechanism. The commission directed the South Bihar Power Distribution Company Ltd to start implementation of prepaid meters on pilot basis at government offices in Patna.