The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved Tk712.62 crore project for installing pre-payment meters at Rajshahi and Rangpur Divisions in a bid to ensure cent percent revenue collection and also to reduce system loss.
ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting in person held at the NEC conference room in the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area. Ministers, state ministers, planning commission members and secretaries concerned attended the meeting.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said that a total of nine projects were approved today involving an overall estimated cost of Tk2,665.21 crore. State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam was also present at the briefing.
Of the approved nine projects, seven are new while the rest are revised projects.
Revealing some of the directives from the premier, the planning minister said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the meeting asked the authorities concerned to speed up the installation of the smart pre-payment metering initiatives.
The prime minister also noted that if the operations of pre-payment metering efforts are strengthened, then system loss will come down significantly.
Mannan said the head of the government also directed to the authorities concerned to go tough actions against those who have huge arrear electricity bills.
She suggested for taking action against the errant electricity consumers either public or private as per the law and even severe their power connections after serving notices.
The planning minister said that the Northern Electricity Supply Company Limited (NESCO) under the Power Division of the Power and Mineral Resources Ministry will implement the smart pre-payment metering project by June 2024.
The project will be implemented at 33 upazilas under some 14 districts of Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions and in two city corporation areas.
The main objective of the project is to ensure cent percent revenue collection, reducing system loss, introducing real time billing system and eradicating over billing and under billing, ensuring online bill access and payments by clients, implementation of load control management.
The main project operations include installation of some 11,13,608 single phase and 86,392 three phases smart meters, installation of some 13,619 data concentrator units, setting up some 3 head-end system and 70 hand held units, preparing data management system and billing softwares for 12 lakh meters.
Once the project is implemented, digitisation of power distribution system and improved client services would be ensured at the project areas.