NoidaPaschimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (PVVNL) is planning to give card swipe machines to its officials who collect meter readings for easy payment of bills by consumers. Officials said that the move will increase the discom’s monthly recovery of electricity charges.At present, the power department is able to recover only 80% of the charges towards power consumed by its customers and the remaining 20% spills over to the next month. There are 2,59,316 domestic consumers, 25,744 commercial subscribers, 9,541 industrial customers, 623 institutional consumers and 6,011 customers having agricultural power connections. Nearly 70,000 consumers make online payment while the rest pay their bills by cash, cheque or through demand draft. There is no drop box facility for consumers to drop cheques, as is in vogue in other states.The discom started accepting payment through credit/debit cards from February 15 at its 30 collection centres. One point-of-sale machine has been made available at each centre, but the response to the facility has been lukewarm, officials said.“Some consumers have started paying their bills through debit/credit cards. We expect more consumers to use this facility in due course as many are not aware of the facility,” Mukul Singhal, superintending engineer, PVVNL, Gautam Budh Nagar, said. A resident said that the facility will be used by more people if bills can be paid at any of the collection centres. “My office is in Sector 62 but I can pay my electricity bill (by swiping my debit card) only at the payment counter in Sector 23 that is maintaining my electricity account. The payment counter opens at 10am. I reach my office late when I have to pay my bill. Payment through card facility makes sense if it is available at all payment centres across the city,” Bharat Bhushan of Sector 12 said.Singhal said this problem will be solved once officials start collecting payment through swipe machines at the consumers’ doorsteps. “We have 130 officials who collect meter readings from across the city but they are from private agencies. We are assessing the security aspect of providing them POS machines, to check a possibility of tampering. Hopefully, we will start this facility in a month,” he said.