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With at least 324 villages yet to get power connection, Odisha government today set a target to complete the rural electrification work in the state by December, 2017. The target in this regard was set by chief secretary A P Padhi who directed officials to expedite the works of rural electrification and ensure that power connectivity is achieved fully in next 80 days. Energy secretary H Sharma said that DPR has been prepared to electrify 3,474 un-electrified villages in the state since 2014-15. "So far 3,150 villages have been connected with power supply," Sharma said As per 2011 census, total households in the state were 96 lakhs. Out of this, so far more than 68 lakh houses have been electrified. More than 3.18 lakh houses were provided new connection during the year 2016-17. In the current year 1,21,310 new households were provided new connection by end of July, 2017, Sharma said adding that target was set to provide power connection to the balance 28 lakh houses by end of March, 2018. Meanwhile, different measures were taken for strengthening of power supply system and performance in billing and collections.
Billing agencies are being engaged through transparent tender process. Performance based incentive system has also been introduced in various divisions as a result of which billing and collection track has shown upward trend, Sharma said. Online mobile phone photo-based billing system has been introduced under 3 discoms (distribution companies) namely NESCO, WESCO and SOUTHCO. Handset based spot billing system was made functional in CESU area earlier. Post offices have been roped in for receiving the payment against power bills. POS machines have been set up in counters of all DISCOMs. Digital payment gateway like Paytm, Billdesk, Atom, ITZ cash with attractive payback offers.
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