Discrepancies in the monthly billing to consumers of piped natural gas (PNG) in Mumbai could soon be a thing of the past. As of September, Mahanagar Gas Ltd has started using mobile phones to track meter readings. The company has adopted a mobile application, mSales, developed by technology company, Mobicule, which allows it to better manage the way its meter readers execute and report meter readings.

Since its introduction in India, piped gas has become popular with households as PNG is not only cheaper than LPG but is also more convenient and safe.

Today there are over 5.7 lakh PNG consumers in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. However, in the past, consumers have faced discrepancies in their bills which has acted as a deterrent for new consumers to sign up for the connection.

AN MGL spokesperson said, "Earlier meter readers were often unable to access houses to read meters or there were mistakes with the reading. In some cases, customers refuted the charges even though the reading was accurate because they felt that their consumption could not have been so high.”

Siddharth Agarwal, CEO of Mobicule Technologies said, “Our technology allows Mahanagar Gas to assign specific houses to its readers. Through a handheld equipment known as the Automated Member Reading System, meter readers input the meter reading and take a photo of the reading before submitting it. Once submitted, the data is pushed into its enterprise resource planning system."