Srinagar, Nov 1: Government departments are the biggest power defaulters, owing Rs 1000 crore tariff to Power Development Department (PDD) in Kashmir.
Power Development Department has been issuing notices to domestic consumers whose pending dues are even less than Rs 5000. To the contrary, PDD has failed to recover Rs 1000 crore outstanding tariff from government departments.
Data accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveal that among the departments, Irrigation and Flood Control and Public Health Engineering owe Rs 300 crore to PDD.
“Home Department has outstanding dues of Rs 100 crore. This includes dues owed by Central Armed Police Force (CAPF). Home Department is entitled to pay all dues of CAPF under Security Related Expenditure,” the source said.
Estates Department has an outstanding of Rs 100 crore followed by Housing and Urban Development Department of Rs 40 crore. The other major defaulters include Health and Medical Education Department, Roads and Buildings Department, Hospital and Protocol Department, Agriculture Department, Revenue and Rehabilitation, and Industries and Commerce department.
An official of the PDD said they have taken up this issue with the heads of departments to recover the outstanding dues.
“Some of the departments have not paid dues for the last 20 years. Departmental heads say they are not able to clear arrears due to financial constraints. This issue has also been taken up with General Administration Department so that additional funds are allotted to these departments to clear electricity dues,” he added.
Chief Engineer Power Development Department, Kashmir, Qazi Hashmat said departments are saying they are unable to clear dues due to budgetary constraints. “This issue has been taken up with the authorities. We hope they (departments) getting funds so that they can clear power dues,” he added.