Metering giant Itron’s Singapore office has secured a deal with the national utility of Bangladesh, Titus Gas Transmission and Distribution Company, to install 8,600 prepaid meters in residential areas of the capital, reports the Dhaka Tribune.

The project, valued at US$1.5m of which US$1m is being funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), is aimed at reducing billing irregularities by the utility.

Titus will deploy prepaid meters in households in two areas of the capital Dhaka by March 2015.

Md Nowshad Islam, acting managing director of Titas, told the Dhaka Tribine, that meters will be imported from France in August and “the installation will start afterward”.

Titas Gas also plans to install more 500,000 household prepaid meters in the future, which will be financed by ADB and its own funds.

Tampering

Official sources said some Titas officials do not want the prepaid gas meters to be installed, as they will not be able to make the “extra cash” by tampering bills as they are doing now, the newspaper reported.

Although consumers will not be charged for their prepaid meter installations, they will have to pay in advance before using it.

Subscribers will also receive a smart card to pay their gas bills and when a household consumes around 90 per cent of the prepaid balance, the meter will issue an alarm.

However, consumers of the prepaid gas meters have alleged that the meters provided by the state-run agency often stop working and they face problems in paying bills in due time.

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