Express News Service
PATNA: For Bihar, which has literally come out of the lantern age, beyond a political connotation, to the LED age with complete electrification of villages in 2018, Friday passed off as another historic day. Bihar has become the country’s first state of having successfully installed 1 lakh smart prepaid meters across its many cities for consumers.
Buoyed over this feat in the power sector, the state energy department on Friday signed a MoU with EESL in presence of minister Bijendra Yadav and officials concerned for carrying out installation of Smart Prepaid Meters on wider scale across the state for more than 1.5 crore consumers.
According to CMD-cum-secretary of Bihar energy department Sanjeev Hans, the installation was started first from Bihar’s Muzaffarpur and Arwal district that got extended to other districts including Patna, Dalsinghsarai, Motihari, Bettiah, and Begusarai gradually in a phasewise manner.
“Now, it is a matter of encouragement that Bihar is the first state in the country that has installed 1 lakhs Smart Prepaid Meters. In making Bihar self reliant in energy conservation, we shall go a long way”, Hans said, adding further that with the MoU signed, installation processes will get expanded and expedited.
Elucidating its benefits to consumers, Hans said that the Smart Prepaid meter can be used by consumers either in prepaid or post mode and recharged through their cell phones also.
“The consumers, who avail the benefits of mart Prepaid meters, are sent repeated reminders to recharge their accounts after the balance starts depleting through SMS and calls from call centres”, Hans said. He said that the department will keep doing maintenance works of the installed prepaid meters for 96 months right from the day of installation.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has focussed on installation of Smart Prepaid meters for all consumers in a short time frame as it will not only cease complaints on inflated bills but also increase revenue many folds to the department.
In Patna initially, 111 homes of consumers of Maurya Lok were installed with the Smart Prepaid meters on an experimental basis.
Official sources, meanwhile, said that around 22.5 lakhs Smart Prepaid meters will be installed in next 18 months.