Ranchi, India — (METERING.COM — January 19, 2007 – Jharkhand State Electricity Board has decided to outsource tasks related to meter reading, billing and revenue collection to private companies, in an attempt to improve the bottom line. Franchisees will initially be appointed for Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad and Hazaribagh, and if the outsourcing is successful the scheme will be extended to the entire state in phases.
Although the JSEB has seen a reduction in line losses in the last year, revenue collection remains a real problem. In the rural areas, for example, only 25 per cent of the total amount billed is actually received by the utility. In the cities, both residential and C&I customers, as well as government institutions, have large accounts that are unpaid.
The JSEB has therefore introduced a scheme whereby franchisees will be appointed for each substation in the state – a total of 155 substations. Individuals, NGOs, co-operative societies, consumer associations and specialist companies may apply to be appointed as a franchisee.