J&K’s electricity bill reaches Rs 40,000 Cr in 10 yrs



Resources of Jammu and Kashmir might be illuminating thousands of homes across India but new union territory is suffering for want of power and has to purchase electricity from thousands of crores annually.

J&K is having vast hydro power potential from where electricity is being supplied to several parts of India.

The electricity generated in JK is illuminating to thousands of homes in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. To the contrary, it is craving for power.

Bashir Ahmad, a resident of Pulwama in south Kashmir said they witness frequent power cuts. “There are at least 20 power cuts of eight hours in a day. We don’t know when the power supply will turn off. The problem has further aggravated as winter has set-in,” he said.

For the last 10 years, Jammu and Kashmir government has purchased power for Rs 40,000 crore from various power generation corporations.

As per official figures, during 2011-12, Rs 3761.52 crore was spent on power purchases. In 2012-13, expenditure on power purchases was Rs 4103 crore.

During 2017-18, 2018-19, each year over Rs 6000 crore was spent on power purchase.

However, PDD has recovered only 50 percent electricity tariff from consumers over the years.

An official of PDD said government was not able to recover tariff from big electricity defaulters.

“Power pilferage is main reason for revenue realization gap. There are some consumers who have agreement of 1 kilowatt and use electricity for Rs 1500,” the official said.

To reduce the revenue generation gap, the PDD has also decided to expedite the installation of metering process and has set up the 2021 deadline for its completion.

The successive governments in Jammu and Kashmir have been seeking return of at least two power projects from the NHPC.

Earlier, a Cabinet Sub-Committee (CSC) in 2011 to review the pact with NHPC on all power projects had recommended to the government to buy back from the Corporation two projects—690 MW Salal and 480 MW Uri-I—at depreciated cost of Rs 2566 crore.

Under the UPA Government, various committees like Working Group on economic development of JK, Rangarajan Committee and Task Force on development of the State—had recommended transfer of the two power projects. (KNS)


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