Punjab state board to install prepay meters in government offices


Patiala, India — (METERING.COM) — January 6, 2009 – Faced with difficulties in recovering some Rs63 crore (US$12.9 million) due on outstanding electricity bills with various government departments, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has decided to install prepay electricity meters.

Sources were quoted as saying that though all government departments use electricity, most tend to dilly-dally when it comes to paying the bills. Under the new project, the offices will be supplied electricity against advance payment only.

"Though our officials don’t have any problem showing the rulebook to defaulters, political interference and pressure from senior officers can be a deterrent in our recourse to such action," a PSEB official was quoted as saying.

According to Mohinder Singh Dua, engineer-in-chief of metering at PSEB, a similar system is already in place with 200 prepay meters in government offices in New Delhi and other states are also considering it. “We hope the initiative would not only help change the mindset but also improve the financial health of the board," said Dua.

The PSEB plans to install between 200 and 500 prepay meters as a pilot project. Thereafter the project will be expanded progressively to other parts of the state.