Maphou Dam site (Manipur), Feb 27 � Manipur is set to introduce �pre-paid� power supply mechanism to control power theft in April next in the State.
Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh informed the new measure to check power theft to news reporters after inspecting Thoubal multi-purpose project in the adjoining areas of Ukhrul, Senapati, Thoubal and Imphal East districts, 45 km north east of Manipur today.
He also informed that decades-old Thoubal project will be completed before December this year, three months ahead of its completion target as 75-80 per cent of the construction works are completed.
�We will be introducing pre-paid power supply system within April this year�, Ibobi said adding �Necessary steps are on to meet the target�.
Checking theft of power becomes all the more imperative as the State has a shortfall of 35 MW to 40 MW in its peak hour requirement of which 60 per cent of the supply was consumed in city areas.
The pre-paid power supply based on commensurate billing will be started in Imphal City in the first phase for which laying of underground power cables is still underway in parts of the city.
Preparing ahead, Manipur had recently upgraded the 132 KV Yurembam power supply transmission station near Imphal to 400 KV with the capacity of carrying 1000 MW. Besides Chief Engineer N Sarat led State Power department had been undertaking a strong drive against power thefts which accounts for about 70 per cent of power loss in Manipur since last month. Power theft is a cognisable and non-bailable offense under the Electricity Act, 2003, and two session judges have also been appointed to deal with cases related to power at the Special Court (Electricity), he added.
�The present condition of power supply can be improved when the percentage of power loss comes down to about 40 per cent�, the officer said. There is overdue electricity bill of Rs 280 crores to be collected from the regular consumers.
The State hopes that once the three projects � 2,000 MW Lower Subansiri (Arunachal Pradesh,W Bongaigaon (Assam) and Palatana (Tripura) � are commissioned in March 2011, its power woes would be minimised.