The installation work of the pre-paid metres is set to begin from November of this year. Residential and commercial consumers of the city’s four electricity distribution areas – Agrabad, Khulshi, Pahartali and Stadium – will be brought under the pre-paid metering system in phases.
According to the BPDB sources, the pre-paid metering project is a part of installing 2.2 million meters across the country to modernise electricity billing system.
Mentionable that the project which was approved in the Executive Committee of National Economic Council in 2009, remained stalled for a long time due to various complexities. So far, the project deadline has been extended three times.
The BPDB inked an agreement with Chinese firm ‘Hexing Electrical Company Ltd’ in March of this year to implement the colossal project titled ‘Pre-Payment Metering Project for Distribution Southern Zone, (Chittagong Phase-1)’ will cost around Tk137 crore.
Of the total cost of the project, Tk100 crore will be spent for procuring pre-paid metres and other accessories while the remaining money will be spent for developing infrastructure.
Engineer Kamal Uddin Ahmed, director of the pre-paid metre project said about 5,200 pre-paid meters had already reached from China as first consignment.
“Rest of the pre-paid metres is expected to arrive by the end of this year. The pre-paid metering system will be introduced in the port city by December 2017,” said the project director.
Md Azharul Islam, Chief Engineer of BPDB, Chittagong said the second phase of the project was likely to begin within three to four months and 1.50 lakh conventional metres would be replaced by the pre-paid ones.
Earlier, 20,000 power subscribers in Agrabad and Khulshi areas of the port city were brought under the pre-paid billing system in 2007.