Will review ‘30% bill payment to repair transformer’ condition: James

Shillong, Nov 11: Power Minister James Sangma today said that the government will review the condition wherein MePGCL stated that malfunctioned transformers in villages will be fixed only after payment of 30 percent of pending electricity bills.

The power minister was responding to a supplementary question by Congress MLA from Nongpoh Mayralborn Syiem.

The Nongpoh MLA stated that some villages have pending bills of over Rs 10 Lakh and that villagers do not have the means to pay even 30 percent.

The power minister replied that the government will review the matter and hopes to remove the 30% condition.

James also informed that there will be no waiver of electricity bill for the months of April 2020 – July 2020, despite the pandemic since the MeECL has liabilities to be taken care of.

“Waiving bill would have a big impact on the financial health (of MeECL),” he said, and that therefore it was not possible.

However, he informed that delayed payment charges (DPC) has been waived off for all customers.

Congress MLA from Umroi, George Lyngdoh questioned the discrepancies in regards to billing, stating that most meters in the state are not working and even if an average bill was generated, the consumer won’t be paying the correct amount.

The Power Minister replied that the government has inherited the problem of non-functioning meters from the past and that the current government is looking to improve billing in the state.

“One way is introducing smart meters and ADB (Asian Development Bank) has funded a project through which we will be able to fund smart meters,” he said.

He added that the aim of the government was to roll in smart meters as soon as possible with target of 100% coverage.

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