Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government is all set to resume smart metering in Srinagar from mid-August.
The exercise was put on hold due to the second COVID-19 wave.
Sanctioned under Prime Minister Development Programme (PMDP), Kashmir Power Development Corporation Limited (KPDCL) started installing smart meters in December last year.
While the work continued till April, the process was halted due to the lockdown.
Chief Engineer, KPDCL, Aijaz Ahmad Dar told The Kashmir Monitor that the department will begin installing meters by mid- August.
“The work was going on full speed. But we had to halt the work due to COVID restrictions. We couldn’t procure the meters from firms. Now the firms have arranged some couriers and we are expecting the work to begin by mid- August,” he said.
The department plans to install 57500 meters in the first phase. “ We have almost 2.5 lakh consumers in Srinagar city, which will be covered fully. So far we have covered just 25 percent of the city,” he said.
An official said the administration would take up smart metering on a mission mode.
“Nearly seven lakh meters will be installed in Jammu and Kashmir. So far Srinagar and Jammu cities on the priority list,” he said.
Sources said the RECPDCL, which is the project implementing agency (PIA) would procure the meters. It has identified households where these meters will be installed.
Smart meters will bring transparency in metering, billing, and collection, which will eventually reduce power losses and ensure reliable power supply to consumers.
The meters can be connected to Data Center at Srinagar and Data Recovery Center at Jammu through communication channels. It will help the distribution Corporations to know the status of power supply at the consumer end and take prompt action in case there is interruption due to system faults or some other reasons.
The official said consumers can recharge smart meters like mobile phones. This will eliminate the manual meter reading and paper bill distribution.
Last month, Union Home Secretary, Ajay Kumar Bhalla chaired a high-level meeting to review the progress of Smart Metering roll out and power sector reforms in the Union Territories.
He said the smart metering in Jammu and Kashmir will be completed within a stipulated time.