RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Railways has asked electric supply companies to directly bill its 47 residential colonies in the Rawalpindi division by initially installing digital meters in 26 of the 47 colonies.

Currently, Railways Department purchases electricity on commercial rates and supplies it to its employees at residential rates.

The department has submitted Rs22 million to the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) for the installation of new meters in 26 residential colonies where consumption of electricity is less than 100 units.

Railways Divisional Superintendent Syed Munawar Shah told Dawn that the department purchased electricity from four electric supply companies in the Rawalpindi division from Attock to Lalamusa.

Attock, Rawalpindi, Lalamusa, Malikwal, Sargodha, Kohat and adjoining areas fall in Pakistan Railways Rawalpindi Division.

As many as 26 residential colonies fall in the limits of Iesco, two in Peshawar Electric Supply Company, five each in Gujranwala Electric Supply Company and Faisalabad Electric Supply Company.

He said the department gave Rs13 per unit subsidy on electricity to the employees and deducted the bill from their salaries.

Pakistan Railways is purchasing electricity at the rate of Rs25 per unit. The organisation has to pay Rs23 per unit extra to the supply companies for consumers who used up to 50 units per month and Rs17 per unit for those with up to 200 units per month consumption.

“So we have decided to streamline the electric supply system in 47 residential colonies and contacted four supply companies from Attock to Lalamusa for installation of digital meters in each quarter or residential unit of the railway colonies.”

He said initially the digital meters would be installed in 26 colonies in the division and the remaining would be installed next fiscal year.

He said the railways saved Rs60 million in a year after streamlining the electric supply system in its offices. In the winter, electric heaters were banned in the offices and during peak hours the use of pumping plants was rationalised.He said the basic aim of saving energy and money was to spend it on the welfare of the employees.

In the past, electric supply companies would disconnect power supply to railways’ installations over non-payment of dues which created problems for the employees and their families, he added.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2021

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