GUWAHATI, March 14 – Not long after public outcry over the introduction of ‘digital meters’ in scores of places in the State, it has now emerged that many of those devices in Upper Assam have anomalies, a fact proved by tests performed by a Meter Testing and Inspection Division of the Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd.
The seriousness of the issue can be judged by the fact that Chairman ASEB had to call for a meeting to discuss the problem, as “power factor is an input for billing of the consumers, it is affecting the billing and collection procedure of the Distribution Company”.
According to reports from a Meter Testing and Inspection Division, at least eight problems have been identified with meters provided by HPL Socomec. Tests found the Real time component to be defective, Battery mode push button and scroll button ineffective and described the meter terminal as “not intact”. The Bill PF displayed in the meter does not match with calculated p.f by dividing Bill K.Wh/Bill KVAh and also by CMRI downloading. Tests
further proved that in most meters at the site, the display of the meter becomes defective “within a year of installation”.
Consumers will be aghast to know that “in most of the meters, voltage and current displayed and recorded in the meter does not match with the rated voltage of the meter which affects the consumption pattern”.
Interestingly, the Director of Socomec, who was asked to be present in the meeting said that his company is fully committed to rectify all defects. However, even while acknowledging the problem, he went on to say that most of the defects may be major from the viewpoint of ASEB, but those were minor in nature and can be repaired without any difficulty.
Taking a serious note of the issue, the ASEB Chairman pointed out that the company was yet to replace 1,389 meters identified as defective.
A number of decisions were taken in the meeting, which gave HPL Socomec two months to ensure that all faulty metres were rectified. The company agreed to send a team of technical personnel to carry out repairs. It was also agreed that HPL Socomec will establish a permanent repairing facility for the meters at Jorhat. The progress made in this regard will come up for review on April 21 this year.