In a pilot initiative, the energy distribution companies in Telangana have launched a project to install pre-paid energy meters in government offices, local bodies and some commercial establishments.
The State government has decided on this move to ensure that offices and commercial establishments get on to regular payment mode and a sense of discipline is inculcated.Motive
According to a government official, the move is aimed at ensuring better compliance and to avoid defaults by government agencies that are known for delayed payments to utilities.
The Telangana Southern Distribution Company Ltd, which has installed pre-paid electric meters in some government offices, is now eyeing industrial consumers and some domestic users. Pre-paid meters function in dual mode, both as pre-paid and as normal post-paid meters.
After taking up some pilot initiatives, the distribution companies are seeking to cover all government offices with pre-paid meters. The advantage of these meters is that they can be charged online.Unpaid bills
As per estimates, the total dues of government offices and some commercial establishments put together is estimated to be in the range of ₹1,400 crore to ₹1,500 crore. The pre-paid meters are aimed at addressing the problem of delayed payments and to keep the records of payment up-to-date.
Several States, including Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka among others, who have taken the reform process in the power sector to the next level, are seeking to work on this model as an option to ensure there is no delay in payment of dues at least by government offices and local bodies.