Department fails to recover Rs.900 cr dues
Government departments found to be major defaulters
Srinagar: There has been no improvement in the power supply in Jammu and Kashmir, despite manifold increase in power tariff by the government over the years.
Official sources told KNS that in 2008-2009, consumers in the domestic category upto 1/2 KW had to pay Rs 160 as monthly tariff that has been increased to around Rs 500 now.
For consumers in the category of 1-KW, they had to pay Rs 310 in 2008-2009 and now are paying around Rs 800 per month. Same is in commercial category where there has been hike of around 300 percent to 400 percent. Despite that government has failed to provide electricity to consumers as per the agreement.
Ghulam Mohammad, a resident of Zakura said he used to pay Rs 200 for use of ½ KW five years back and get around 18 hour power supply in a day during winters. “Presently, we get 15 hour power supply in a day and have to pay over Rs 500,” he said.
He said whenever the government increased tariff, they are told that it is meant to provide uninterrupted power supply. “Despite increased in tariff, nothing happens on the ground,” he said.
“If we fail to pay the tariff, we receive disconnection notices from the PDD,” laments Firdous Ahmad, a resident of Dalgate.
An official of the PDD said that department failed to provide uninterrupted power supply despite increase in power tariff as PDD as several industrialists, politicians and government departments owe hundreds of crores to the PDD.
He said that PDD has failed to recover Rs 900 crore of dues on account of power tariff from government departments, corporations, industrialists, and hoteliers in Kashmir.
Among the departments, Irrigation and Flood Control Department and Public Health Engineering Department have highest arrears of over Rs 380 crore. Following which, the Home Department has an outstanding of around Rs 100 crore. This includes the pending dues of the central reserve forces, which the State Home Department has to pay under Security Related Expenditure of forces operating in the valley.
The figures reveal that Housing and Urban Development Department has arrears of Rs 40 crore, followed by Roads and Building Department of around Rs 12 crore. The Hospitality Protocol Department and Agriculture Department have an outstanding of around Rs 10 crore and Rs 5 crore, respectively.
Similarly, Revenue and Rehabilitation Department has outstanding of around Rs 4 crore.
Despite government departments being major defaulters, the PDD has been warning common people to liquidate balance electricity charges or “their installations would be disconnected”.
An official of the PDD, said that this issue has already been raised with the heads of these departments to pay outstanding power tariff.
“The departmental heads said that they are not able to clear arrears due to financial constraints,” the official said. “We have now decided to write to General Administration Department so that government could allot additional funds to these departments for paying electricity dues,” he added.
(With inputs from KNS)