PDD liabilities touch Rs 4,000 crore; admin blames consumers for power crisis

SRINAGAR, Feb 28: Amidst frequent power cuts, the Power Development Department is blaming people for electricity problem in Jammu and Kashmir.
People in the valley are facing abrupt power cuts, saying that PDD was failing to adhere to its power curtailment schedule.
The government of India 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.
“We face eight hour power supply in a day and power curtailment schedule is not being followed,” said Imran, a resident Pampore.
Development Commissioner, PDD, Asgar Ali, said people were “responsible” for the power problem in the state.
“People are to be blamed for power problem not the government. Power problem is only due to power thefts,” Ali told The Kashmir Monitor.
He said the upgrading and creation of new infrastructure would not help the state to improvise power until there is 100 percent installation of meters.
“Unless people don’t stop power theft, there will be no improvisation in power. People from JK don’t hesitate in paying Rs 12,000 as power charges for a flat in New Delhi but here they don’t pay Rs 500 for a month here. We have infrastructure available for more than six times than the load agreement and provide electricity more than three times than load agreement,” he said.
The PDD has projected installation of 11,47,723 meters between 2015 and 2019 in domestic and non-domestic categories and has set up target of 100 percent metering to 2019.
Ali said that state’s power liabilities have reached to Rs 4000 crore. “The liabilities are increasing with each passing day,” he said.
Recently, the government said that energy consumed in Kashmir till December last year was 6,679.930 MU against 6,466.060 MU the previous year, while it was 5,319.684 MU in Jammu in 2017 against 5,239.538 in 2016.
In the last six-years, Jammu and Kashmir has spent over Rs 28,000 crore on power purchase, mostly from the centre-owned National Hydro Electricity Power Corporation (NHPC).

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