Smart meter project: Kerala electricity minister calls meeting of trade unions

Two prominent trade unions, KSEB Workers’ Association (CITU) and KSEB Officers’ Association, have made it clear that they are not against the smart meter project.

Published: 12th December 2022 04:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th December 2022 04:06 AM   |  A+A-

electricity, power, grid

Image used for representational purposes

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Power Minister K Krishnankutty has called a meeting of all trade unions in the Kerala State Electricity Board Limited (KSEB) at the Legislative Assembly Complex on Monday to end the stalemate on implementing the Rs 8,200-crore smart meter project.

Last week, the meeting convened by C Suresh Kumar, director (Distribution, Supply Chain Management and Information Technology), failed to reach a consensus. The trade unions are against the government’s decision to bring in private entities when KSEB’s in-house engineers or Central government agencies like C-DAC are willing to provide their technical know-how to produce smart meters.

Two prominent trade unions, KSEB Workers’ Association (CITU) and KSEB Officers’ Association, have made it clear that they are not against the smart meter project. Their objection is towards the manner in which the KSEB is promoting the private entities assigned by the nodal agency, Rural Electrification Corporation Power Distribution Company Limited. 

KSEB Workers’ Association president S Harilal told TNIE that the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission has not given the sanction to implement the smart meter project due to lack of clarity on the funding aspects. “The board’s top officials have been convinced about our claims and now, our task is to bring it to the notice of the power minister. States like Uttar Pradesh and Assam have already implemented this project, but it has not been successful. In Jaipur, it was launched almost two years ago, but the meter readers continue to do their job. So why should the KSEB show haste in implementing it here?” asked Harilal. 

There are reports that if the project is not implemented on time, the 15% subsidy from the Centre will get lapsed. But the trade unions claim that this is a baseless allegation by a former board official who has vested interests behind implementing the project. The Centre’s guideline says that the project should be implemented if the sum total of technical and commercial losses in cities and villages are above 15% and 25% respectively. 

India Matters


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