Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh (UP) Power minister Shrikant Sharma, on Friday launched his drive to install prepaid electricity meters in the residence of ministers and government officials by getting one installed for himself in his house.
Sharma got a prepaid meter of 25 KV capacity installed in his official Kalidas Marg residence, news agency IANS reported.
Once the balance in the prepaid meter is exhausted, the power will automatically get disconnected.
The minister, by installing one for himself, has set an example for his colleagues and citizens to do the same.
Sharma said that he took this step to remove the growing perception of politicians and officials of not paying their dues leading to higher arrears.
The decision to install prepaid meters in residences of politicians, ministers, and officials was taken by the energy department on October 29.
The department will be procuring around one lakh prepaid meters that will be installed in houses of prominent people in the state.
Power dues on government departments and houses have added up to Rs 13,000 crores after which the decision was taken.
The power minister said that there has to be some acknowledgment of outstanding dues and for that, the option of paying the backlog in installments would be made available.
''As soon as the meters are available, we will start installing them in government offices and residences," he said.
Ministers, legislators and government offices mainly consist of the major defaulter's list.
The minister also said that dedicated police stations have been set up to check power thefts. 68 police stations for 75 districts have been set up so far.
''The state government has also created 2050 posts for police stations whose salaries and other costs will be paid by the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation,'' he said.