Power starved Manipur has became the first state in the north-east to get a pre-paid power supply system.
“The new power supply mechanism becomes operational today (Tuesday),” said T Ibochouba executive engineer in the state electricity department. “We’ve also started issuing pre-paid cards in Paona Bazar area. Like mobile recharge cards, pre-paid cards worth between Rs 503 and Rs 7,000 can now be purchased to buy power.”
Manipur CM O Ibobi Singh is likely to inaugurate the pre-paid cards counter at the department’s main building at Keishampat in Imphal.
In phase 1 the new system would be rolled out in core areas of Imphal city – Paona Bazar, Thangal Bazar and Khoyathong – having more than 3,000 consumers. Eventually the whole city would be covered, said Ibochouba. 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 hours of power in daytime.
“The state’s power scenario has improved. We’re now getting three hours of power in the day time,” said a senior officer of the transmission division, who did not wish to be named. “This is the result of the power theft drive last year.” Around 60 people were jailed during the drive.
The state hopes once additional power supply from Lower Subansiri (Arunachal Pradesh), Bongaigaon (Assam) and Palatana (Tripura) starts, its power woes would be over.
“The authority is laying supply lines from the Jiribam side (Manipur-Assam border),” said the official. The construction is targeted to complete this year.