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Power staff asked to install meters PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 01 March 2008

Staff Correspondent

The Power Division has asked the officials and employees of all the power plants and grid sub-stations to install electricity meters at their residences by March after finding that most of them consume excessive electricity without paying bills and thus cause system loss at the transmission level.

The division sent a letter to the Power Development Board and the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh last week to ensure that officials and employees posted at 20 power plants and dozens of grid-stations install meters at their residences and power stations’ premises, said sources in the division.

The division took the decision to have meters installed after a 10-member technical committee, headed by the United International University’s vice-chancellor Rezwan Khan, found out that one of the major reasons for high system loss at the transmission level was the disproportionately high consumption of electricity by the staff of the plants and stations.

The division in October last year formed the committee to find out the actual causes of system loss and suggest measures to reduce the losses.

The committee submitted the report recently, said sources. Sources in the division said that hundreds of employees and officials at plants and stations have been consuming an inordinate amount of electricity without installing any meters although they were supposed to consume free electricity up to a certain level.

‘There is a provision that the employees and officials will get free electricity up to a certain level. But they consume electricity at their will, and so far no one has asked them to install meters,’ said a source.

The system losses of four out of five power distribution agencies have been reduced in the last six months, and they are likely to fulfil the goal, set by the Power Division, of reducing losses within one year, said division sources.

The Power Division in July last year asked the Power Development Board to reduce its system loss to 14.5 per cent from 16.7 per cent by June 2008. It also asked Rural Electrification Board to reduce loss to 12 per cent from 12.78 per cent, Dhaka Electric Supply Authority to 18 from 21 per cent, Dhaka Electric Supply Company to 12.5 from 13 per cent and West Zone Power Distribution Company to 13 from 14.5 per cent.

As per the latest system loss calculations submitted by the agencies, the overall system loss of PDB came down to 14.85 per cent in December 2007, West Zone to 13.61 per cent, DESA to 19.24 from 21 per cent and DESCO to 10.80 from 13 per cent. The system loss of the Rural Electrification Board, however, increased to 14.31.

But many Power Division officials believe that the actual system losses of these agencies might be higher than the estimates. ‘The employees and staff pocket bribes by reducing the bills of consumers, most of which are industries, and pass off the electricity that has not been paid for as system loss. They also produce fake and exaggerated bills.

Although these bills are not realised, they are also not shown as system loss but as outstanding bills,’ said a Power Division official. He said that in the future they would measure the system loss in line with the recommendations of the technical committee.

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