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Power Crisis in Manipur as Consumers Bypass Prepaid Meters

Last Updated on October 13, 2023 by SPN Editor

Imphal/ October 10, 2023 (SPN) | The Manipur State Power Distribution Company Limited (MSPDCL) source revealed that there is a power crisis in Manipur since numerous consumers, primarily from areas outside Greater Imphal, including Kangpokpi, Churachandpur, Moreh, and other regions, are suspected of bypassing the metered connection system.

This fraudulent activity isn’t limited to Kuki dominated areas; it extends to non Kuki-dominated regions as well. There are reports on social media hinting that residents in the Kuki-dominated Churachandpur district have been illicitly using electricity without going through the metered connection system.

The ongoing conflict between the two communities, which has persisted for over five months, has significantly impacted Manipur’s power sector. It is estimated that over 500,000 consumers have resorted to bypassing the prepaid metered connection system, using electricity illegally, as confirmed by a reliable source within the MSPDCL.

Among these consumers, there are over 100,000 who have not recharged their accounts for approximately 4-5 months and more than 300,000 who have not recharged for over 3 months. Despite their lack of recharge activity, the MSPDCL’s system indicates that these consumers continue to consume electricity.

The advanced system employed by the MSPDCL allows them to monitor and record the amount of power drawn and consumed from the National Grid by each prepaid consumer. Each consumer is assigned a unique ID, facilitating the tracking of their power usage and recharge frequency.

Alarmingly, more than 500,000 consumers have not recharged their accounts in the last 3-5 months but are still accessing electricity. This strongly suggests that these consumers have somehow managed to circumvent the metered connection system.

Previously, bill collection involved physical interventions on the ground, but this process has transitioned to a digital mode of recharge. Consumers can now recharge their prepaid accounts via the MSPDCL’s website using digital payment platforms like GPay and Paytm.

One of the significant factors driving people to bypass the metered connection system may be the internet ban imposed in the state since May 3. Due to the prevailing law and order situation, the MSPDCL faces challenges in conducting door-to-door inspections in many suspected areas.

Nevertheless, efforts are being made to conduct inspections at specific locations to detect and address fraudulent connections and to prevent a power crisis in Manipur.