The HPSEBL Employees Union has accused the management of the power board of lapses in the online billing system put in place by HCL Infosystems Limited. The union has pointed out that the management had failed to get the shortcomings in the computerised billing system implemented by the private company, despite repeated pleas of the employees and the feedback from censures.

The company failed to implement the pilot project in 10 sub-divisions, still the management allowed the project for the remaining sub-divisions to the same company, the union members alleged.

The selection of HCL Infosystems Limited as implementation partner was erroneous and questionable as their experience in software development was meager and negligible in power utilities. It was evident from the fact that the application failed to carry the load of just 10 sub-divisions during the execution of the pilot project and it was not feasible that it could take over the load of more than 100 sub-divisions.

At present the application of the online billing system was partially paralysed even for sub-divisions of Shimla city which were covered under the pilot project. As per the feedback received from employees working on the system, the union members feel that the billing software was very slow and it kept crashing every now and then. The online billing system was coded in an outdated way using obsolete technology and the database structure being used in the system was not up to the mark.

As there were no experts of Internet technology and billing software, the management should have opted for consultancy in the field before selecting the technology as well as its implementation partner.

The complexity, scalability and the usability of the software should have been kept in mind. The management awarded the job of software designing to the company dealing in hardware sales and had no background of software development.

Instead of blacklisting the company, the management had handed over the work of online billing system to it. The union has urged the management to blacklist the firm and review the decision.

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