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24×7 electricity for all, distributors to be fined for power cut

Panikoili Chhak

New Delhi: To avoid power cuts and to make it mandatory for the companies to install prepaid or smart meters to prevent electricity theft, the government is planning to fine electricity distributors from April 2019.

The move comes as a part of the government’s Rs 16,000 crore Saubhagya scheme launched in September to provide uninterrupted electricity for all by the end of 2018.

“Our vision is that we want 24×7 power for all by March 2019. Now it will be a legal obligation. After March 2019, if there is any load shedding without any reason, there will be penalties except in case of technical issues or act of God,” power minister R K Singh said on Thursday.

The minister also said that most of the states have agreed on 24×7 power for all, 90 per cent pre-paid meters and Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of subsidies for electricity consumers across the country.

As part of its efforts to expand electricity supply, the government aims to distribute solar panels with battery packs to households in areas that are too remote for transmission lines.

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