BALASORE: A plan to install prepaid energy meters by the North Eastern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Limited (NESCO) at all Government offices under its jurisdiction in five districts - Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur and Keonjhar - is in a limbo. Apparently, the offices are unwilling to install these meters, which would curb misutilisation of electricity.
Even as the Energy Department, Government of Odisha, had given ultimatum to all the district collectors for installation of prepaid energy meters at Government offices before April, 2013, so far the distcom has achieved only 21 per cent of its target in Balasore district.
Of the 478 offices listed in the district, only 99 prepaid meters have been installed in last two months. Even as circulars have been issued to other districts, the process is yet to be initiated. A NESCO official said the work has been started in Balasore. “We will install the meters in all block and sub-division level offices simultaneously along with the offices at the district headquarters”, he said.
The distcom officials blame authorities of the Government offices for delay in installation of the meters. They said the offices which used to pay the electricity bills once or twice a year, will now have to pay even before they consume electricity, officials said.
Executive Engineer, Hrusikesh Pradhan, said many offices are delaying the process on the pretext of funds constraint. “They say that they do not have any funds allotment for the purpose”, said Pradhan.
The prepaid energy meter has a mobile SIM-like card and as per the procedure, offices will have to recharge their power voucher every month. If any office fails to recharge its voucher, an SMS will be sent to the linked mobile number of the officer concerned and power disconnected automatically.
The Energy Department had issued the order following a High Court ruling which made it clear that if the Government did not clear its pending dues for 2011-12 within one month, then the distcoms are at liberty to snap electric connections.