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Gangtok, November 17:
By this year, all the household in urban areas of Sikkim will have Prepaid Electricity Smart Meters as Power department is gearing up for replacing new Prepaid electricity meters in Eight town of Sikkim that is Gangtok, Namchi, Mangan, Jorethang, Rangpo, Singtam, Geyzing and Nayabajaar within this year. After this the department will start installation in rural parts it was informed by State Minister for Power Department, M. N. Sherpa today during a press conference held at the Power Department, Gangtok today.
The Prepaid Energy Meters was officially launched by Chief Minister, Prem Singh Tamang at his official residence, Mintokgang, on 16th November 2021.
Minister M. N. Sherpa in his address mentioned that in pursuance to the Government of India’s Integrated Power Development Scheme, the Government of Sikkim is set to install prepaid smart energy meters in all major municipal towns of Sikkim by December 2021 in a phased manner. Under the direction and guidance of the Chief Minister, this policy has been adapted by the State Government to ensure operational efficiency and sustainable usage of energy for the consumers. He apprised the gathering that in major municipal towns of Sikkim, namely- Gangtok, Singtam, Namchi, Gyalshing, Rangpo, Mangan & Jorethang, the prepaid smart energy meters have been supplied and is in the process of installation, which aims to be completely functional by December 2021. Thereafter, the rural areas of Sikkim will undergo the installation of prepaid smart energy meters, he informed. He mentioned that installation of the prepaid energy meter is a huge step towards saving energy, monitoring usage and to economize consumption. Minister also shared with this new meter there will lessen burden in our system as people will use judiciously and we can save electricity.
Government envisages a shift to new metering system by March 2025 if they failed to do it by 2023.
The Minister urged the public who have not availed normal metering as yet, to install normal metering at the earliest, which will help transition prepaid energy meters from normal metres with ease. He also mentioned that in rural areas, the department will transfer the amount of existing free 100 units through Direct Benefit Transfer, into the consumers’ account, and provide complete step by step information on the functionality of the prepaid energy meters.
It may be mentioned that the prepaid energy metres will be installed in phase wise manner. In urban areas of Sikkim, 36,940 single phase energy meters supporting 10kw load and 3,011 three phase energy metres supporting 45kw load have been distributed for installation, thus far. Prepaid vouchers shall be available to the consumers online through ‘Sahaj Liberty App’ or through vouchers available at State Bank of Sikkim. Recharge vouchers can be bought for the values between Rs. 200/- and Rs. 30,000/- as required. The prepaid energy meter comprises Emergency Credit and Friendly Credit to ensure uninterrupted power supply.
While Sunil Rai, Nodal Officer for implementation shared ” the new meter is fully digital and user friendly but still we are preparing tutorial videos to educate the mass from various media platforms once they start using it then it will be very easy to use. And there will be helpline for consumers which are available 24/7.”
He also said “Prepaid smart electric meters work like mobile numbers, cut power supply if bill not paid. Prepaid smart electric meters permit consumers to track real-time use, save power. The presser also had a presence of Principal Secretary and other officials