Improving power supply quality and expanding energy network in urban as well as rural areas of the country were discussed during a high-level meeting organised by the Union ministry of power in New Delhi recently.
A key proposal that came up during the discussion was to introduce 20 ways of paying electricity bills.
The idea behind the move is to make the lives of customers easy and prevent them from standing in long queues at electricity offices for paying energy bills.
The ministry is planning to introduce measures to enable customers to pay power bills at banks, ATMs and shopping malls. The measure is likely to be implemented within six months.
"Next generation electricity reforms and proposed amendments in the Electricity Act were also discussed during the meeting," MP West Zone Electricity Distribution Co Ltd managing director Nand Kumarum, who attended the meeting in New Delhi, said.
Participants at the meeting included special secretary, secretary, joint secretary (power), principal secretaries (energy department) from various states and top officials of government-run electricity distribution companies.
Another important thing proposed during the meeting was that a consumer can now choose between private suppliers or government companies for electricity. However, the supply lines will be government-owned. However, the proposal, was opposed by the All India Power Engineers' Federation, a body of electricity engineers working in the government sector. Federation chairman Shailendra Dubey said the exercise was aimed to benefit the private players.
The power ministry is also keen to develop renewable energy sources in areas like Mandsaur and Neemuch in MP where the intensity of the Sun's rays is high. Installation of roof top solar panels was also prioritised.
Deliberations were held on provisions of Deen Dayal Gram Jyoti Yojana and Integrated Power Development Scheme aimed at improving electricity supply in both urban and rural areas.