Shimla: Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board today entered into a MoU with the service centre agencies and Department of Information Technology for initiating electricity bill collection service from Lok Mitra Kendras. Initially the electricity bills payment service will be rolled out in four districts – Una, Mandi, Kangra and Shimla – on a pilot basis for three months. Subsequently, the same will be extended to all districts in the state.
As per the present system, the consumer has to visit the office of HPSEB at sub-division level, which many a times involves long-distance travel as well. Now with the launch of this service, the consumer will be able to deposit the bills in Lok Mitra Kendra, which will be at the local panchayat level. The Lokmitra will enter the bill details online into the application available on internet and issue a receipt. The payments collected during the day in all the centres will be transferred by the private implementing partners into the specified account of HPSEB within the next working day. All the service charges for collection of payments will be borne by HPSEB and no-extra charge will be taken from consumers. Under the new system, consumers in the rural areas will have a facility to deposit the bill in their localities anytime during the month. Moreover, the system will help HPSEB in better realization of bill payments by receiving the funds immediately on the next day after the bill is deposited by the consumer.
The government of Himachal Pradesh is in the process of setting up 3.366 Common Service Centers named as “Lok Mitra Kendras” in the state at the panchayat level. The Lok Mitra Kendras are being set up by Department of Information Technology in collaboration with private partners, which will be used to provide various government and business services to the citizens under a single roof. About 2,300 village level entrepreneurs (Lokmitra), who will manage and operate these centres, have already been identified. At present Business to Citizen (B2C) services such as mobile recharge, DTH connections and recharge, life and general insurance, railway booking, pan card, typing, training/ computer education, printing/ photocopying, CD burning, photography, internet surfing and Email are being provided. Apart from the electricity bill payment service, other government services are also being finalized with departments concerned, which will be delivered through Lok Mitra Kendras. Director (IT) Subhasish Panda informed that electricity bill collection facility will be started in only those centres which have internet facility and other infrastructure as per requirement.