PSEB to provide pre-paid meters to Govt. Offices for avoiding dues

Thursday, 01 January 2009 14:03 News
Print
Pre-paid meterFacing serious problems in recovering Rs 63 crore electricity bills pending with various government departments, Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has in a novel move decided to checkmate its tormentors and install pre-paid electricity meters.

"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 senior officer posted in PSEB enforcement wing told the media.

Sources claim that though all government departments use electricity, most tend to dilly-dally when it comes to paying the bills. Under the new project, to be implemented in a phased manner, offices will be supplied electricity against advance payment only. Once the "paid-for-supply" is consumed, more power would be stopped.

"The system is already in place in New Delhi, where 200 pre-paid meters have been installed in government offices. In fact, even Haryana and Himachal Pradesh are keen on it. We hope the initiative would not only help change the mindset but also improve the financial health of the board," Mohinder Singh Dua, engineer-in-chief of metering, said. In the new scheme of things, officers who have often used the "no funds available" alibi, may find no occasion to do so again.

In the run-up to venture launch, the board has invited expression of interest for purchase of required material and meters by January 15, 2009. It has also started assessing the technical efficiency of it's officers and preparing a detailed finance requirement report. At present, the defaulters' list includes departments like the state police, public health, municipalities and Punjab State Tubewell Corporation.


Source - Times of India