Electricity meter numbers and bill numbers do not match in some cases, says Shobha Karandlaje
Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje on Monday revealed that there was a mismatch between the electricity meter numbers of consumers and their bill numbers in several instances.
Addressing a programme organised by the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation (KPTCL) Accounts’ Officers’ Association to release their annual diary and calendar here, the Minister said such a mismatch had been detected when the Food Department had linked issuing of ration cards to the Revenue Register (RR) number of the electricity meters recently.
She said she had directed the officials concerned to set right such anomalies. “We should either issue new RR numbers to such consumers or correct the mistakes by setting up a proper data base of all RR numbers of consumers along with their billing details,” she said.
The Minister warned that such a problem would result in huge losses to Escoms.
She expressed concern over the mismatch between the actual quantum of power being consumed by the State and the quantum of power billed. “Not all the power that is supplied is being billed,” she said while hinting that the billing efficiency was not cent per cent.
Taking exception to reports in a section of the press that had accused her of hurriedly taking up the process of inviting tenders to procure power for the next two years, Ms. Karandlaje maintained that the State would face power problems if such a process was not taken up in advance. “We were able to manage power supply comfortably last year as we had made power procurement arrangements in advance. This year, we are already late (in power procurement) by about five months. If you do not make arrangements for procuring power now itself, you will have a tough time ahead as our neighbouring States like Tamil Nadu have already finalised tenders for additional power procurement,” she said.
The Minister, who has been promising the State of ensuring a comfortable summer in terms of power supply, reiterated that she would stick to her words. “We had so far saved our hydel reserves by cutting down on their generation. This would be used from this month till the end of summer for handling the increasing consumption in power,” she said. Also, both the thermal power stations — Raichur Thermal Power Station and Bellary Thermal Power Station — were working to the full potential to help take care of the base load, she noted.
President of KPTCL Accounts’ Officers’ Association V.G. Pandit pointed out that only 92 per cent of the power consumption was being billed in the State. Similarly, 96 per cent of the billed amount was being collected. He stressed the need for taking this efficiency level to cent per cent to bridge the revenue deficit of the power utilities.
The association appealed to the Minister to create posts of financial director and financial adviser (internal audit) in all the five Escoms. It also appealed to her to recruit a minimum of 100 assistant accountant officers to fight the staff shortage. KPTCL Managing Director Selvakumar, KPTCL Directors Pratap Kumar, Aditi Raja and Muddukrishna were present.
Meanwhile replying to queries by mediapersons on the reported decision by the party to drop her from the Ministry, Ms. Karandlaje only said: “I do not know anything.”