In a bid to make ministers and government officials directly accountable for the consumption of power, Uttar Pradesh Power Minister Shrikant Sharma has launched a drive to install prepaid electricity meters at their residences.
Taking the initiative, Sharma got a prepaid meter of 25 KV capacity installed at his official Kalidas Marg residence. In a prepaid meter, the power supply gets automatically disconnected after the balance is exhausted. The example set by Sharma is likely to compel his colleagues and govt officials to allow prepaid metres at their offices and residences.
Sharma said the drive for installation of prepaid meters in residences of politicians, ministers and officials has been started to the improve the image of politicians and officials that they use power with payment of dues, thereby leading to high arrears. The decision to install prepaid meters was taken by the energy department on October 29.
The department will buy nearly one lakh prepaid meters for the drive. "We also appeal to people to turn to smart cum prepaid meters to save electricity and pay for the electricity," Sharma told IANS.
Government departments and houses had not paid dues amounting to a whopping Rs 13,000 crore in Uttar Pradesh after which the decision to launch prepaid meters was launched.
"To realise these dues, we will soon be giving an option of payment in instalments. As soon as the metres are available, we will start installing them in government offices and residences, " the minister said.
To check power theft, dedicated police stations will be set up in all the 75 districts of the state of which 68 such police stations have been opened. "The state government has created 2,050 posts for these police stations and their salaries and other costs will be paid by the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation," Sharma told IANS.
By Aseem Thapliyal