New technology such as smart meters will enable the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to reduce jobs and cut expenses.
KSEB has already issued orders removing 799 positions of meter reader / spot biller thanks to the availability of latest technologies. These 799 employees, who were appointed after cracking the competitive PSC examinations, had approached the Kerala High Court accusing the power utility of failing to report vacancies to the PSC, New Indian Express reports.
In January, Kerala High Court ordered the KSEB to report the vacancies to the PSC. KSEB said its decision to abolish the post will be subject to the outcome of the writ appeal before the high court.
KSEB says it will be abolishing the posts once the smart meters are introduced as manual meter reading will become redundant.
KSEB has introduced Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) for meter reading in all its field offices in the distribution wing. As a result, the job profile of meter readers has changed and now meter reading can be done by KSEB employees belonging to any category.
KSEB needs to reduce existing vacancies of meter readers with the introduction of meter readers.
KSEB said any recruitment by the PSC will negatively impact the phasing out of redundant posts of meter readers and will result in extra financial burden to the ailing organization.
KSEB aims to install smart meters for remote readings as part of the MoU involving the state government, Union Power Ministry and the KSEB for the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme. KSEB has already received the go-ahead to purchase five lakh smart meters in Kerala.