IMPHAL, June 10 � Introduction of pre-paid power supply in Manipur�s core area has resulted in tremendous improvement in billing and collection besides reducing the load demand by more than 50 per cent.
This came to light during the State level workshop on �Issues and Challenges in Power Supply Management in Manipur� jointly organised by Senior Citizens for Society, Manipur and the All Manipur Working Journalists� Union at the Manipur Press Club here. The workshop was sponsored by Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission and State Electricity department.
�Before pre-paid meter was installed, the department could bill at the most about Rs 5.7 lakh per month and could collect about Rs 4 lakh per month assuming collection efficiency of 70 per cent, said Additional Chief Engineer L Priyokumar of the State Electricity department.
Post pre-paid meters installation scenario is very encouraging. The department could bill and collect 100 per cent and collect Rs 12 lakh per month, he added.
Most interesting result is that there is more than 50 per cent load reduction in the demand and this in turn can fetch additional revenue to the department.
The department is also implementing installation of about 20,000 number of pre-paid meters in core area of Imphal in the first phase because of the advantages. But so far only about 4000 pre-paid meters have been activated out of the installed 8500 units in core areas of Imphal where the department is committed to supply power for not less than 20 hours a day, the official added. Most areas under greater Imphal will be covered in the 2nd phase of the project.
Manipur�s peak requirement of power during 2011-12 was 170 MW against the availability of 30 MW to 90 MW as the State gets about 70 per cent of its share from the Central sector hydro-power stations in the region and the balance is from thermal-based plants.
The State Government is paying about Rs 15 crore every month for purchase of power from Central power sector as the State has no generation of power except the 600 KW mini hydel project at Leimakhong in Senapati district. The 36 MW heavy fuel based plant cannot be operated due to high fuel cost.
The State is, however, expecting additional power once the gas-based Pallatana (Tripura) and thermal-based Bongaigaon (Assam) are commissioned in July 2012 and March 2013.