Energy minister sees glaring gap in power consumption, billing

Energy minister sees glaring gap in power consumption, billing

Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje on Monday said the vast gap between the expenditure incurred on supply of electricity and the revenue generated through billing was causing heavy losses to the State exchequer.

Addressing a gathering at the launch of the diary for 2013, brought out by the KPTCL Accounts Officers' Association, she said there was ambiguity over the way bills were generated.

“If we cannot fix this problem now, it will lead to a chaotic situation. We have to realise that the government is spending on purchase of coal and power to supply electricity to all. In addition, money is spent on establishments, building infrastructure and filling the vacant posts,” Karandlaje said.

According to the minister, rural Karnataka posed a major problem as there was high consumption, but revenue was very less.

Decline in revenue

She stressed that the engineers have to work hard and pointed out that major complaints came from Hubli and Mangalore, where the differences among the accounts officers and the engineers led to decline in revenue.

On electricity meters, she said, “The big question staring at us is whether the meters are functioning properly or not. It has come to our notice that many houses have electricity connections without meters, while some meters do not function properly.”

Karandlaje said, as the Food and Civil Supplies minister, she had launched a drive to identify bogus ration cards through electricity bills.

It came to light that in many cases, the meter numbers given by the consumers did not match those in the records. She emphasised on computerisation for transparency in functioning.

KPTCL Managing Director, Selva Kumar reminded his staff that there would be more challenges if the gap between bills and consumption was not plugged at the earliest.
On the occasion, the office-bearers of KPTCL Accounts Officers' Association put forth their demands for recruitment of more accounts officers, creation of more posts of director (finance) in all Escoms and other facilities.

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