Pre-paid electricity arrives in Imphal core

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IMPHAL,April 4: Power starved Manipur has become the first state in the North-east to get a pre-paid power supply system. “The new power supply mechanism became operational on Tuesday,” said a senior official of the state electricity department.

“We’ve also started issuing pre-paid cards in Paona Bazar area having around 1100 consumers. Like mobile recharge cards, pre-paid cards worth between Rs 503 and Rs 7,000 can now be purchased to buy power.”

Manipur Chief Miniter Okram Ibobi Singh is likely to inaugurate the pre-paid cards counter at the department’s main building at Keishampat in Imphal, sources added.

In phase 1, the new system would be rolled out in core areas of Imphal city–Paona Bazar, Thangal Bazar and Khoyathong–having around 3,000 consumers. Eventually, the whole city would be covered, said the official.

The pre-paid system will help both electricity suppliers and consumers in controlling power theft.

Besides trying to bridge the gap in power supply, checking theft of power is also necessary, as the state has a shortfall of 80 MW to 90 MW in peak hour requirement in winters. As a result, residents receive just three to four hours of power in daytime.

The state which reportedly spent around Rs 10 crores in buying power against the revenue of around Rs 2 crores, hopes once additional power supply from Lower Subansiri (Arunachal Pradesh), Bongaigaon (Assam) and Palatana (Tripura) starts, its power woes would be over. In view of the development, the state authority is laying supply lines from the Jiribam side Manipur-Assam border) and the construction is targeted to complete this year.

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