Sambalpur, August 21 (LocalWire): The District Bar Association here is up in arms against the decision by the state government to use Sambalpur as a testing ground for prepaid electricity metering system before rolling it out in other major cities in Odisha.
The association has said that though it is not against the installation of new prepaid electricity metering system, it is opposed to the idea of using Sambalpur as a trial ground for smart meters before testing it elsewhere.
“If the Government implements the system in Sambalpur after installing the meters in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and other areas of the state, we will not oppose it,” the District Bar Association president Bijitendriya Pradhan said while speaking to the local media on Tuesday.
As reported by LocalWire earlier, the state Department of Energy has implemented a pilot project by installing prepaid electricity metering system in few government offices in Sambalpur and has chalked out plans implementing the second phase of the pilot project in Rourkela.
Based on the evaluation of the two pilot projects the state Department of Energy will finalise the state-wide plan for migrating to the new system that will help, both the consumers and distribution companies (discoms).
Unlike the existing system where the electricity bill is generated based on the usage in a particular billing cycle, the prepaid system allows a consumer to purchase units of electricity in advance, and continue to recharge as per usage.
Since the new system involves pre-purchase of electricity units, the power connection to the consumer will automatically get disconnected once the balance gets exhausted and the user will need to recharge the account to resume power supply.
This also helps the discoms do away with the lengthy process of post usage collection of bills and the problem of unrealised payment, which has been one of the reasons behind the financial mess of discoms.
The new metering system will also help the consumers keep a track of their usage making power consumption more rational and do away with the one-time monthly bill, enabling users to recharge as and when required, even in smaller amounts.