Power meter readers demand speedy solutions to their problems

The members of the APEPDCL Meter Readers’ Association, affiliated to the CITU, have demanded solutions to their long-pending demands.

The meter readers involved in ‘spot billing’ submitted a memorandum to the APEPDCL CMD on May 25 (Thursday), seeking an early solution to their problems.

They said that the reduction in the number of days for spot billing from 16 days to nine days in a month was causing stress to the meter readers. The meter readers had to work from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily to complete the work when they were given 16 days a month and the reduction in the number of days was forcing them to work till late in the night, they said, adding that many consumers do not like when meter readers visit their house after dark.

The meter readers said that management had increased the number of services to be discharged by them daily with the objective of completing the spot billing work within nine days. The target given to the meter readers was 180 services in urban areas, 160 in rural and 120 in the Agency areas. They noted that when ‘piece rate’ was fixed for meter readers in 2015, it was decided that if they worked for eight hours a day, they could attend to 150, 140 and 110 services in urban, rural and Agency areas respectively. There was no justification for increasing the number of services, they complained.

The other demands include increasing the ‘piece rate’ of wages which were revised last in May 2020, abolition of piece rate and introduction of monthly salary to meter readers, and provision of jobs as ‘shift operators’ and ‘watchmen’ in electrical sub-stations to meter readers who have completed degree or ITI (electrical) courses.