Although the electricity distribution companies were making much progress in installing prepaid meters for their clients across the country, the energy distribution companies had not been able to match the pace.
According to the Power Division under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, at least 30 million clients would have their prepaid meters installed by 2021.
However, the division was not certain how long it would take to install the meters.
An analysis of the process of work between the two divisions of the ministry led to contrasting pictures.
Abu Hena Md. Rahmatul Muneem, Secretary, Energy and Mineral Resources Division, said: “We have only been able to install nearly 3,00,000 meters in the past 14 years while we have a client base of 5 million.”
On the other hand, the gas distribution companies have only just begun installation of meters. Work was progressing rather slowly and no was certain when it would finish.
An employee at the Titas Gas Distribution Company said that they had just begun the installation work under one project and had no knowledge if when other installation projects would be undertaken.
The government took up installation works of prepaid power and gas meters claiming that the advance billing would help to cut wastage.
Power division sources said that there was demand for gas from a client base of 5 million in the country while household clients comprised 4.2 million of that base.
The Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company has installed 55,076 prepaid meters for household consumers till June this year while another 60,000 meters were installed by the Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company.
On the other hand, E-VC meter installation works for industrial, captive and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) consumers were also underway.
On the other hand, nearly 30 million clients needed electricity in the country all of whom were to be brought under the prepaid meter coverage.
Residents in Dhaka were having their prepaid electricity meters installed by the Power Distribution Company DPDC and Dhaka Electric Supply Company DESCO.
Director General of Power Cell Mohammad Hossain said that the government had instructed the power distribution companies to bring all clients under the coverage of prepaid meters by 2021.