Prepaid cards for power bills
Sanmit Paranjpe spends most of his time abroad, but he is always worried about the power connection at his Kalyan home being disconnected. The result – frantic calls to friends and relatives asking them to pay the electricity bill.
But, now thanks to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDC), Paranjpe can now buy a prepaid voucher for powering his locked flat.
After installing a prepaid meter, he can recharge the voucher online from anywhere and also avail a 5% discount on his power bill.
MSEDC started a prepaid meter scheme for its 1.70 crore consumers in the state on Tuesday.
Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, who also heads the energy department, launched the scheme from his Mantralaya office. Maharashtra is the first state in the country where prepaid meter scheme is launched at a massive scale.
Ajoy Mehta, MSEDC managing director, said the scheme would not only help consumers who lock their homes for a long period, but also those who own a second home which is generally used as weekend abode.
“The meters are very convenient and the consumers won’t have any trouble. The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved the scheme,” Mehta said.
The biggest benefit of the prepaid meter would be that a can keep a tighter reign on his power bills.
Initially, the scheme will be in operation in selected cities and towns. About 25,000 prepaid meters will be installed in the first phase in Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Pen, Kalyan, Kolhapur and in tourist places like Mahabaleshwar, Matheran and Chikhaldara. City’s eastern suburbs Kanjurmarg, Bhandup, Mulund, Thane and Navi Mumbai will get the scheme shortly.
“I’ll be happy to avail this service. I will stop asking my friends and relatives for help in making timely payment,” Paranjpe said in an email to the Hindustan Times.
A large number of city residents, who also own houses outside Mumbai, said they would avail the service.
“My ailing parents who stay in Ratnagiri will not have to visit the MSEDC office every month. I can recharge the voucher online from Mumbai,” said Suhas Parab.