STUDENTS of various educational institutes of Pakistan participated in international conferences and contests this year. They were able to maintain the trend of excellence.
Two students, Shahbaz Khattak and Moeez Lodhi of the Pak-Turk School, Islamabad, proved themselves to be outstanding in the recently held international computer projects competition in Romania. They earned a silver medal with their presentation of an automatic meter reader (AMR). If utilised in Pakistan, it can relieve the state from its energy crisis to a great extent.
AMR facilitates the billing procedure as it collects an accurate consumption data of electricity, gas and water meters without involving meter readers.
Once accurate information is provided to the central database company, it saves the public from paying predicted and estimated bills. It reduces labour because the need to check meters door to door no more remains.
The meter can detect faults which can then be resolved easily. It is a good solution to energy theft.
Along with improving energy management, it can also detect illegal connections, tampering and wastage of energy. It can save about Rs250bn annually lost on energy theft.
The designers of the project claimed that their meter could switch off airconditioners and other home appliances which consume too much energy.
Currently, the country is facing severe energy crisis. About 5,000 MW of energy is consumed by air-conditioners during summers. So the meter will enable the energy control department to reduce the use of such costly devices when the country cannot afford these.
The government should appreciate such educational institutes, in general, and designers of such projects, in particular. Urgent measures should be taken to put the project in practice to curb energy theft and its wastage.