The Uttar Pradesh government will install ‘smart’ electronic meters in the urban areas of the state for free, Energy Minister Srikant Sharma said today. The meters will ensure error-free electricity bills and will allow consumers to keep a track of their power usage via a smartphone application. The meters will also curb power theft, he said. “We are going to install smart meters in urban areas… The consumers will not have to pay for this as the cost will be borne by the government,” Sharma said in the state assembly.
“We plan to install pre-paid meters in rural areas and smart meters in urban areas by 2022. The purchase of both are on. In the first phase, we will install 40 lakh smart meters and the work will start from November,” he added. The web-monitored ‘smart meter’ reduces meter-reading and data-entry costs and cuts down the quantum of commercial losses and billing inefficiencies.
For the consumers, the meter lets them monitor usage, get more accurate readings and make instant payments online, the minister said. Sharma further said to check power thefts, special police stations were being set up in all the 75 districts of the state and 55 new enforcement squads would also be constituted.
The minister also claimed that the state was purchasing power at a cheaper rate as compared to the previous government because there was no “commission khori” (graft) in the present regime. The government was working for the benefit of the people and not just for “a family” as it used to do earlier, Sharma added. In a reply to a question raised by BSP member Uma Shankar Singh, he said that the losses suffered by the state power corporation have mounted to Rs 73,986.72 crore in 2016-17 due to various factors including power theft and line losses.