As part of the ongoing efforts to strengthen the power supply network and consumer experience within the island city, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) will lay new cable lines, install new transformers and replace old meters with newer smart meters.
The plan was sanctioned earlier this week at the BEST Committee meeting. It has been agreed that underground cables will be laid across the Colaba-Sion/Mahim stretch. Sources within the BEST said they are looking at strengthening the supply lines in areas where power supply is weak and power thefts occur.
Ashish Chemburkar, the chairman of the BEST committee said cable-laying work will be undertaken in Dharavi, Worli Village, Antop Hill, Sion and Mahim, to name a few areas. He said the demand for electricity has gone up with newer connections, including other factors.
To deal with the complaints of faulty electric meters, the BEST will install prepaid smart meters. There are over 10.50 lakh BEST power consumers who will be provided these new meters at a cost of Rs 3,000 each. Sources said 2.5 lakh consumers using analog meters will be the first ones to get the new ones in the first phase. Consumers can monitor their power use on the BEST App. Lokesh Chandra, the general manager of BEST Undertaking, said besides monitoring their power consumption, consumers can also choose prepaid billing.
Users can download the BEST App and link their consumer number. The prepaid facility also allows bulk payments in advance. If the value of the payment plan nears exhaustion then a reminder would be sent, following which top-up amount can be added.
Consumers can also gauge their consumption pattern. This will help BEST curb losses and power thefts by knowledge of anomalies in demand through smart meters. In the past 10 years, the BEST had recovered Rs 98 crore from power thefts only.