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Govt plans to install 20m pre-paid power meters in three years

March 20, 2018 00:00:00

The government plans a move to install 20 million (two crore) pre-paid meters to ensure hundred per cent pre-paid metering system in the next three years to reduce the system loss, ghost billing, consumers' sufferings and other anomalies in the power sector, reports BSS.

"We have installed 800,000 pre-paid meters across the country, while 27 lakh (2.7 million) meters are under procurement process," Director General of Power Cell Engineer Mohammad Hossain told the news agency on Monday.

He said the government will install 20 million pre-paid meters across the country and six power distribution companies have been working to set up the pre-paid meters.

Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC), Dhaka Electric Supply Company Ltd (DESCO), Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB), West Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd (WZPDCL) and Northern Electricity Supply Company Limited (NESCO) are working to install pre-paid meters.

The pre-paid metering system can reduce accounts receivable and non-technical losses up to zero per cent. The BPDB took a pilot pre-paid metering project in Chittagong, before installing pre-paid meters across the country, Engineer Mohammad Hossain said.

DPDC Managing Director Engineer Bikash Dewan said the DPDC has installed over 0.23 million (2.30 lakh) pre-paid meters, adding, "We will install around 300,000 (0.3 million) pre-paid meters this year and some 11.35 lakh (1.135 million) pre-paid meters would be installed in phases."

He said the DPDC has been trying to bring all of its subscribers under pre-paid billing system coverage in phases.

The government installed around 0.8 million (800,000 pre-paid) meters and only 1.55 lakh consumers in the capital city are currently using pre-paid meters.

As the largest electricity supplier in Dhaka, the DESCO installed 82,732 pre-paid meters out of a total 826,309 subscribers. It will also install 200,000 pre-paid meters by 2019. Another DESCO project is to install 200,000 smart pre-paid meters.

Earlier, the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) asked the distribution companies to increase the number of top-up booths so that the consumers can easily recharge their pre-paid systems.

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