JK govt permits engaging private firm for electric meters installation and billing

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government has accorded sanction for engaging a private company for installation of electricity meters and billing to consumers in the state.

“In a significant decision aimed at reducing AT&C losses in the power sector and improving metering, the State Administrative Council (SAC) has accorded sanction to the engagement of the Rural Electricity Corporation Power Distribution Company Limited (RECPDCL) as PIA on nomination basis,” an official spokesman said.

The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the SAC chaired by Governor N N Vohra here yesterday.

As part of the agreement, the company will procure and install 9.25 lakh electronic meters in the rural and urban areas of the state, sanctioned under various schemes at an estimated cost of Rs 282.15 crore.

It will also procure and install 2,00,000 smart meters in towns and urban areas of the state at an estimated cost of Rs 126.54 crore.

It will undertake operation and maintenance services for the upkeep of consumer metering in rural and urban areas, at an estimated cost of Rs 44.53 crore.

The company will also manage meter reading and bill generation in rural and urban areas at an estimated cost of Rs 61.32 crore.

The spokesman said the SAC also accorded approval to the engagement of Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) for execution of smart grid project in the state at an estimated cost of Rs 140.55 crore.

The smart grid project will have attributes like Substation Automation System (SAS), Smart Collection Mechanism (SCM), Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Outage Management System (OMS), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System and Peak Load Management (PLM).

The PGCIL is being entrusted with the job of execution of smart grid project for 19 towns and industrial areas in the state.

The state is presently faced with the challenge of reducing high level of AT&C losses, which have been at 60 per cent during the financial year 2016-17. This high percentage of Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses is one of the reasons for the gap between demand and supply, the spokesman said.

The reduction of AT&C losses is not only essential for revenue realization but is equally important for providing reliable and quality power to all categories of consumers, he said.

The vision of the government is to accomplish 24X7 Power for all by 2019 in a time-bound manner which cannot be accomplished unless 100 per cent consumer metering is achieved, he added.