PATNA: Reiterating his demand for ‘one nation, one electricity rate’ in the country, CM Nitish Kumar asked the energy department to accelerate the installation of prepaid smart meters in each household of Bihar on Saturday.
While chairing a high-level meeting to review the performance of the energy department through video conferencing, the CM assured the officials that there would be no dearth of funds for the ongoing work of installation of prepaid smart meters. “You all should work to speed up the installation of smart meters,” he said.
Nitish said the prepaid smart meter scheme was first launched in Bihar. Later, the Centre adopted it for implementation in other states. “The installation of prepaid smart meters in all households will not only provide convenience to the consumers but also stop the misuse of electricity in the state,” he said.
“Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the country’s Budget for FY 2021-22 in the Parliament in February this year, proposed to introduce the Bihar government’s prepaid smart meter scheme throughout the country. Then, Bihar CM had welcomed the Centre’s decision,” an energy department official told TOI on Saturday.
A few months ago, the government-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) entered into agreements with two power distribution companies of Bihar for the installation of 23.4 lakh prepaid smart meters in the state.
Speaking at the review meeting, Nitish said his government completed the task of providing electricity connection to every household across the state in October 2018. People are getting an uninterrupted supply of power. “All people are requested to use the electricity for good purposes and don’t misuse it. The proper use of electricity is also in the interest of the environment,” Nitish said.
He further asked the energy officials to work on a priority basis for providing electricity connection to farmers to supply water for irrigation to each farmland.
The CM further asked the officials of the renewable energy agency to expedite the installation of the proposed two solar power plants at Kajra in Lakhisarai district and Pirpainti in Bhagalpur district. “With the beginning of generation from the two plants, there will be a sharp increase in the production of solar power in the state, which will be in the interest of the environment,” Nitish said.
While reviewing the status of hydel power, Nitish said, “The multi-purpose Dagmara hydropower project was in its advanced stage, and the state would be benefited after the completion of this project.”
Earlier, the state’s energy secretary Sanjeev Hans made a detailed presentation before the CM on the current status of different schemes of the department.