Sambalpur: Western Electricity Supply Company of Odisha (WESCO) has announced to outsource electrify bill collection under its jurisdiction to women self-help groups (SHG) starting January.
WESCO circle comprises of Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Bolangir, Sonepur, Bargarh, Sundergarh and Deogarh districts.
According to Sambalpur circle superintending engineer of WESCO Sanjeet Kumar Nayak, only 31 per cent users in his circle are paying their electricity bills. The existing manpower in WESCO is not sufficient to cover the entire circle as the number of connections has gone up after launch of Soubhagya Yojana.
Under Soubhagya programme, WESCO has electrified 5 lakh households in rural pockets of Sambalpur circle.
Considering the significant growth in the number of consumers, Women SHGs will be needed to collect the bills. To achieve this, WESCO will train the women on meter reading, billing and collection of electricity charges. It would be helpful in expanding the distribution company’s reach in both rural and urban areas, WESCO said.
At least one SHG will be selected for collection in one panchayat or ward.
The district social welfare officers will select the eligible SHGs. These members will be trained by the sub-divisional officers and WESCO distribution executive engineer about reading, record keeping and bill generation.