Srinagar: As the state of Jammu and Kashmir purchased electricity for Rs 30,000 crore in the last one decade, the Power Development Department’s liabilities have reached to Rs 4,000 crore.
For the last one decade, over Rs 30,000 crore has been spent on power purchase by the state government. Official figures reveal that state government spent Rs 1,355 crore on power purchase in 2006-2007, Rs 1750 crore in 2007-08, and Rs 2034 in 2008-09.
During 2015-16, around Rs 4,800 crore was spent on power purchase by the state. While the power development department has projected that it would purchase power from Rs 5,058.42 in the current fiscal.
The Power Development Department has proposed to purchase power Rs 7325.13 crore in 2020-2021 to provided 24-hour power supply to the consumers. At the same time, the liability of the PDD is increasing with each passing day.
A senior PDD official wishing anonymity told KNS that state’s power liabilities have reached to Rs 4000 crore. “The liabilities are increasing with each passing day,” he said.
He said the upgrading and creation of new infrastructure would not help the state to improvise power until there is 100 percent installation of metres.
The PDD has projected installation of 11, 47,723 metres between 2015 and 2019 in domestic and non-domestic categories and has set up target of 100 percent metering to 2019.
The centre in December last year announced an allocation of additional power of 792 MW for Jammu and Kashmir in view of higher demand in winters in the state. However, people say that there has been no improvement in power supply in the valley.
“The frequent power cuts have made our lives miserable,” Ali Mohammad Bhat, a resident of Safakadal, said. He said they face around 10 hour power cuts in a day.
“The announcement of additional power to the state did not make any difference. We used to face 10 hour power cuts before the announcement and face the same,” Bhat said.
The PDD has announced a power curtailment schedule. The metered areas are subjected to 21 hours of weekly cut and non-metered 42 hours. However, consumers said that power curtailment schedule was not being followed.
An official of the PDD, said that department has told government that 24 hour power supply could be possible only if the power purchase is doubled.
“In Kashmir, there is availability of 1200 megawatts while the demand is far higher. The double in power purchase will end power crisis and provided 24 hour supply,” the official said. There are also around 110 villages, comprising of three lakh households, which are un-electrified so far. The official said that it depends on the government whether it would double its power budget.
J&K is one among the states having vast hydro power potential from where electricity is also being supplied to several parts of India. While the state on its own is suffering for want of power.
To reduce the revenue generation gap, the PDD has also decided to expedite the installation of metering process and has set up the 2019 deadline for its completion.
(With inputs from KNS)