Install prepaid meters on all homes before 2025: Bihar CM

PATNA: CM Nitish Kumar on Wednesday asked concerned officials and engineers from the energy department to complete the installation of Smart Prepaid Meters (SPMs) at all households in the state by 2025. He also ruled out giving free electricity to consumers. The SPM installation would entail an outlay of Rs12,657 crore, including Rs11,100 crore in the rural areas. As many as 3.5 lakh of SPMs have been installed in 19 cities until December.
The 19 cities where SPM installation work is underway are Bettiah, Raxaul, Motihari, Sitamarhi, Chhapra, Ara, Arwal, Rajgir, Hajipur, Patna, Masaurhi, Biharsharif, Samastipur, Dalsingsarai, Begusarai, Khagaria, Munger, Purnia and katihar .
The CM also opened the completed projects and laid the foundation stones for plans worth Rs3,452 crore. He also dedicated the newly built energy auditorium and art gallery in Vidyut Bhavan. Energy Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Development Commissioner Amir Subhani, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Pratyaya Amrit and Chief Secretary of CM Chanchal Kumar attended the occasion.
Nitish said the SPM would bring huge benefits to the power consumers as they won’t suffer the hardships caused by the wrong billing. “They pay the cost for the power they consume,” he said.
Given the ministry’s achievements and achievements on several fronts, the Union Powers Minister Raj Kumar Singh praised the state at a high-level meeting in Delhi, Yadav said.
Nitish said that just as SPM installation work has begun on a large scale, some sections may be asking for free electricity. He ruled it out saying that the government has a purchasing power of Rs12,000 crore every year, but the revenue flowing back to the department is only Rs5,500 crore. “The remaining amount is given to the power consumers as a huge relief. Anything beyond that won’t be sustainable. I even said this at the election rallies,” Nitish said, adding that power consumption in the state has increased from 700 MW in 2004-05 to 6,627 MW today.
The CM said his government has made remarkable achievements in the energy sector and the Center has also agreed to let the state buy power from its quota. He also noted that another achievement would be the entry of Bihar Renewable Energy Development Agency (BREDA) in renewable energy production. He laid the foundation stone for his plans worth Rs1,011.95 crore.
Among the other projects were from Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL) worth Rs30.83 crore, South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited worth Rs60.04 crore, North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited Rs 289.87 crore and from Bihar State Power Transmission Company Limited worth Rs 2,059.42 crore.
The secretary of the energy department, Sanjeev Hans, said that during the Covid-19 pandemic, 12 lakh electricity connections had been given through paperless online application submission on Suvidha app. With 10 pages to fill in for each application, the department saved 1.2 crore pages and met environmental requirements.

Rahul Singh
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