BENGALURU: Domestic electricity consumers in the city will now have a dedicated mobile app which will give them updates on power cuts, help them file and track status of complaints as well as provide for live tracking of resolutions. The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) on Wednesday launched its much-awaited mobile app ‘BESCOM Mithra’ during a vigilance awareness meet in the city.
The app marks a new era for BESCOM which is now adopting data analytics to analyse its consumer base. This will be used to provide tailor-made solutions for the most prevalent problems as well as corporate goals like demand-supply management and revenue enhancement.
“The app will provide information about BESCOM policies, offices as well as information on power outages. Customers can also register one or more accounts and there are different categories of customers like tenants/owners/companies and others. The app will also allow online payment of bills, consumer specific services besides other facilities,” said P Rajendra Cholan, Managing Director of BESCOM, at the launch.Soon, other ESCOMS across the state will also bring out such apps for their customers, Energy Minister D K Shivakumar said.
On the topic of vigilance, the Minister took the example of an incident in Mangaluru that he came across where a prominent educational institution was drawing power from an adjoining building for a newly constructed block which had not been approved. “If major institutions like Manipal University are involved in such activities, it is an unfortunate situation. I want app users to report power theft to us through the app. Vigilance must increase,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Narayana M, Superintendent of Police (SP) Vigilance for BESCOM, said, “Our team has interacted with customers in all our districts to gain the confidence of consumers. We have imposed penalties to the tune of `14 crore in 4 months and recovered ` 9 crore so far. Customers who would lodge vigilance-based complaints earlier were forced to go through the 1912 helpline and these complaints would not reach us immediately. Now, complaints through the app will be automatically dispatched to senior officials via SMS. Action will be taken,” he said.
DKS: NO MORE THERMAL POWER STNS
Energy Minister D K Shivakumar said building more thermal power stations was no longer an option for the state as there was a coal shortage. Taking the example of the Ballari and Raichur Thermal Power Stations, Shivakumar said that the disposal of ash from the stations was posing a problem. “There was a coal block allocated to Karnataka in Maharastra but it was mired in litigation for three years. Now it is likely to be cancelled and the notice has been issued. We have to turn to solutions like solar power and locally generated and distributed power,” he said, adding that the city’s dedicated power supply station in Yelahanka would be ready in 2018.
‘NO POWER CUTS IN SUMMER’
Shivakumar said the Government had conserved water stored in the Sharavati project to use during the summer months. “I will not authorise any load-shedding this summer. We will bank on power purchase and will even import 1 million tonnes of coal in order to meet with the shortage in the country,” he said.