In order to put an end to electricity supply companies’ (ESCOMs) practice of charging gram panchayats (GPs) without a unit-wise record of consumption, the government has issued orders to all GPs to install Panchatantra software. The software makes available all usage details.
In his order dated April 19 this year, the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department director K Yalakki Gowda directed all the gram panchayats to install meters for all properties, buildings, street lights, drinking water sources and get the RR numbers by April 25.
The order was issued as ESCOMS had been charging gram panchayats even for non-functioning street lights and the Gram Panchayats expressed their displeasure over the erratic electricity bills.
In some cases the ESCOMS were not issuing the bills. On the other hand many gram panchayats were finding it difficult to pay the electricity bills.
To put an end to this malpractice the government issued the order making it compulsory to upload details of the number of street lights, high-mast lights, mercury lights, tubelights and CLFs being used, their capacity, number of electricity poles, next date of billing, present billing rate and units used among others in the Panchatantra Software. The gram panchayat development officers were also given training on how to feed the data into the software.
The Pancharanta Scheme
The software developed by the National Informatics Centre had been extended to gram panchayats in the state to promote transparency in governance and make available all information at the click of a mouse. By uploading data into the software one can get complete details on the usage of electricity, the bill generated, number of street lights, purchase and other information.