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22 May, 2016 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 21 May, 2016 09:49:53 PM
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Power company ‘drags feet’ on prepaid electric meters in Khulna

Authorities have taken a decision to install 31,000 prepaid electric meters by June
Gazi Moniruzzaman, Khulna
Power company ‘drags feet’ on 
prepaid electric meters in Khulna

Even though more than two-and-a-half years have passed after the completion of a pilot project on prepaid electric meters, the West Zone Power Distribution Company Limited (WZPDCL) is yet to take initiatives to introduce the same in Khulna city.
A large number of subscribers are interested in using prepaid electric meters as the system is hassle-free. This system is also profitable for the board and effective in checking pilferage of power.
However, an initiative to install prepaid meters on a large scale has been stonewalled by a section of corrupt officials and employees, subscribers have alleged.
Convener of Khulna Nagorik Samaj, advocate AFM Mohsin, alleged that some officials of the WZPDCL and leaders of the Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) in the Khulna Power Board are against the project for fear of losing the chance to make extra money on the pretext of system loss. CBA leader Sheikh Maklukar Rahman, who is also president of the WZPDCL Shramik Karmochari League, however, denied the allegation. “We've no scope to play any role in such matters. It's for the higher authorities to take such decisions,” he said.
WZPDCL (Khulna) chief engineer Md. Hasan Ali Talukder said there are 66 power substations and 49 distribution offices in 21 districts of Khulna and Barisal divisions, and five districts of Greater Faridpur.
The director of Pre-Payment Metering Project for Khulna City (Phase-I), Md. Tofazzel Hossain, said, “The prepaid meter pilot project was run in Khulna for the first time beginning from July 2014. The project began at Hazi Mohsin Feeder under Sadar Police Station in the city. The WZPDCL authorities had brought 2,684 subscribers under the pilot project from April 26, 2015.”
Hossain further said that the authorities have taken a decision to install 31,000 prepaid electric meters by this June. They will be installed by the power distribution boards in Divisions I, II, III and IV in the city. Superintending engineer of WZPDCL, Md. Abu Hasan, said system losses have reduced in areas where prepaid meters have been installed. “System loss is now less than 8 per cent in areas where prepaid meters have been installed. The figure is about 20 per cent in other places where electricity is used under the monthly billing system,” he added.
Local ward councillor of Khulna City Corporation (KCC), Imam Hasan Chowdhury Moyna, also a resident of Shamsur Rahman Road under the Hazi Mohsin feeder, told The Independent that prepaid meters also prevent people from misusing electricity to minimise household costs. “Subscribers also don't have to face hassles of over-billing, improper meter reading and outstanding payment if they use prepaid meters,” he said.
WZPDCL managing director Md Shafiquddin said prepaid meters are profitable for both the board and the subscribers. He also said the WZPDCL has taken a decision to not only install prepaid meters but also introduce the digital automation system to save wastage of electricity and its proper distribution.
Uninterrupted power supply can be ensured after introduction of this digital automation system. Besides, it will reduce fluctuation of voltage and protect transformers from going out of order.
Md Shafiquddin further said this project would be undertaken to provide consumers with the best possible services by reducing system loss, time and wastage of money.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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