The Kashmir Center for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) has said the question asked by Panthers Party MLA Harshdev Singh in the current session of Assembly regarding the consumption of power and realization of revenue from the two regions ‘smacks of dirty divisive politics of the party which is in fact part of a pattern which some Jammu MLAs routinely follow as a grist to the mill of their divisive, parochial and sickening politics and equally divisive and outrageous is the answer provided by Power Ministry.’
As per a statement of Prof Hameedah Nayeem, Chairperson KCSDS, this is an attempt to create regional acrimony and hatred and consequent divisions. “otherwise the ministry could have given the details of the power consumed by forces which is a huge burden on the exchequer of the state as a whole but the ministry unashamedly’ forgets’ that in Kashmir region more power is consumed by security apparatus put together from whom no revenue is collected plus the lighting of LOC which are huge drains on the power quota of Kashmir division.”
She said there are 10 different categories of consumers registered with the PDD for supply of power. These 10 categories are Domestic, Commercial, Industrial, State Departments Central Departments/Army, Irrigation/Agriculture, Public Water Works, General Purpose Bulk, P.S Lighting and Misc etc. “The total registered load for all the ten categories of consumers is 1430.81MWs for Jammu region and 1015.83 MWs for Kashmir region. J&K SERC has fixed different tariff rates for the power supplied to above categories consumers which are different from one another,” she said.
According to the KCSDS statement while tariff at subsidized rates has been fixed for domestic consumer’s category, the tariff for central government departments have been fixed as per the cost of supplies. Out of the ten categories of consumers only first three are comparable as seven other categories of PDD consumer happen to be state or central departments including army and considering the revenue realized from these departments as a contribution of Jammu region would be most unrealistic., the statement added.
Prof Hameeda said that the annual budget of nearly 100 Crores is made available by the state government to PHE and Irrigation departments in Jammu for drifting water for the purpose of irrigation or drinking water schemes which, largely, is required in Kashmir region. Similarly, Jammu-Lakanpur has a huge and strong railway network who need to pay for consumption of electricity.
“In the domestic category, 608695 consumers in Jammu region are provided 570.93 MWs of power while almost the same quantity of power (569.49 MWs) is made available to 703692 consumers in Kashmir who happen to be 94997 more than registered consumers in Jammu. The per capita power made available to the consumers in Jammu region is 0.93 Kva against 0.80 Kva made available to the consumers of Kashmir region.”
She said that the consumers in Kashmir region, over years, have consistently been paying more average tariff than the consumers of Jammu region. “A comparative chart showing revenue realization for past 5 years is attached herewith to substantiate this claim. From the statement, it is evident that domestic consumers in Jammu for the period 2011-13 have paid only 267.72 Crores as against 418.68 Crores by domestic consumers of Kashmir. For these two years, the average tariff paid per consumer per month in Jammu is Rs.215.71 as against Rs.285.34 which is Rs.69.63 more. During the first 9 months of the current year (up to December 2013), the revenue realization in Kashmir is 202.20 Crores as against 138.72 Crores in Jammu and the average monthly tariff paid by a Kashmir based consumer is Rs.336.47 against Rs,253.23 which is Rs. 83.24 more.”
The KCSDS chairperson said that in the commercial category Jammu has 85795 consumers with registered load of 136.26 MWs. As against it Kashmir region has 85003 consumers with registered load of 123.94 in this category. During the current financial year, in the revenue realization, Jammu with 77.30 Crores has paid merely 3.0 Crores more than Kashmir with 73.58 Crores. “This is despite the fact that Kashmir shuts much earlier than the markets of Jammu and that the gadgets installed in commercial establishments of Jammu consume huge electricity.”
She said that in LT/HT and captive industrial category, Jammu consumes 410.97 MW of power as against 150.15 MW in Kashmir. While most of the industrial units in Jammu are established in organized industrial estates receiving uninterrupted power supply, the majority of these in Kashmir are scattered and subjected to power curtailment schedule at par with domestic consumers.
“Almost entire industry in Kashmir, on an average, works in one shift as against two in Jammu. Keeping all these parameters in consideration, Jammu industry should pay 6 times revenue against Kashmir industry. However they have only paid 226.34 Crores in comparison to 72.20 Crores paid by Kashmir entrepreneurs in first 9 months of the current year. The government owes an explanation on the disparity in the distribution of power for industrial purposes in two regions resulting in the imbalanced industrial growth in the state.”
She further said that it is not the job of a common consumer to work out energy utilization by all consumers in the state but such onus lies on the shoulders of department. Besides continuing with unconstitutional and illegal occupation of power projects, Prof Hameeda has said that the state government has failed to recover payment of 2350 crores which NHPC has to pay in lieu of deficit 12% energy from 1996-2011 besides the payment of 347 crores in lieu of establishing unauthorized power supply to Dul Hasti.
“KCSDS is in dialogue with various civil society formations in Jammu and Kashmir to evolve an effective strategy collectively to press for the return of power projects from NHPC. At this time we are at the final stage of forming a coordination committee of several civil society federations to reclaim our rights of possession of the power projects currently illegally and unconstitutionally held by NHPC for which we have been struggling for long but the state government has not even raised it with centre as per the statement of the union minister.”