Consumers served by the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) will now get smart meters at their households.
The state Power department has taken this decision to put an end to power theft in different parts of the state.
“We have a target to install such meters for 1.7 crore consumers. New connections are being given through smart meters,” said state Power minister Sobhandeb Chatterjee said on the sidelines of the 31st Indian Engineering Congress organised by The Institution of Engineers.
Chatterjee said the decision was taken after the department received numerous complaints from WBSEDCL customers, who are currently using old meters.
Uncontrolled incidents of hooking and stealing of electricity has been a matter of concern in recent times. However, WBSEDCL’s upgraded technology enabled the Power department to combat such issues.
“Smart technology will be used so that any hooking or stealing of electricity will be monitored directly from a centralised server,” the minister said.
“We will gradually replace the old meters with smart meters,” he added. Chatterjee further said that the smart meters will also play a good role in bring down pollution levels.
“Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s aim is to ensure uninterrupted supply of good quality power with less pollution. For this, we are also focusing on the use of solar power. Recently, a number of foreign companies from Europe and countries like Japan, China, South Korea, South Africa have come to me and had discussions on the topic of using devices that causes less pollution in the power sector,” the minister said.
“We need advice and suggestions from engineers for developing the power sector,” he further added.
The power theft-prone areas of Bengal are spread over North and South 24 Parganas, Burdwan, Birbhum, Murshidabad, North and South Dinajpur and Darjeeling, a power department officer said.