The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to install prepaid electricity meters at the official residences of all ministers, legislators, and officials. The move aims to keep a check on the non-payment of power dues by politicians and bureaucrats, which has resulted in a pending electricity bill of Rs 13,000 crore now.
Speaking to the media about the decision, UP Power Minister Srikant Sharma said: “The dues on government offices and accommodations have crossed Rs 13,000 crore. To recover such a whopping amount, we have opened the option of depositing money in installments. We have also ordered 1 lakh prepaid metres which will be installed in government offices and residences occupied by politicians and bureaucrats.”
Highlighting the benefits of installing power meters, he added: “It is very important that people pay their electricity bills on time. This will help us in providing uninterrupted power supply in both rural and urban areas at reasonable rates.”
Sharma further said that one of the other reasons that prompted the UP government to take this step is that due to "poor" DISCOM ratings they now have to pay in advance to get electricity.
The installation work will begin from November 15, starting with the residence of the power minister, located in Lucknow’s Kalidas Marg, getting the first prepaid meter. The state government eventually plans to install these meters in all government offices and residences in Uttar Pradesh, said a report by India Today.
Notably, the power department has informed the government that the irrigation department is yet to clear its dues of Rs 2,656 crore, while the urban development department hasn’t paid power bill worth Rs 3,636.18 crore.Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited has set up 68 police stations dedicated specifically to contain power thefts in the state.