SRINAGAR: In Kashmir, over half of electricity consumers lack meters, exacerbating Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses.
Principal Secretary, Power Development Department H Rajesh Prasad informed news agency KNO that they have invested over Rs 5,000 Crores to address the losses.
“I think there is a need to invest more in the Power Development Sector because of outdated cables, poles, and transformers. It will take time, and more investment is required. By that way we can reduce one of the components for AT&C losses,” he said.
Prasad highlighted, “The main reasons for the AT&C losses are non-metered consumers. Under the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS), the focus is on consumer smart metering. We already have fewer traditional metered consumers, and ironically, 50 percent of consumers do not have meters at all.”
He stressed the urgent need to meter every consumer. “Besides, we have to ensure every unit of energy is accounted for, and only then the count of losses will reduce. People need to stop power theft and hooking on power lines.”
The Principal Secretary mentioned additional reforms and investments needed to replace outdated infrastructure in PDD.
“Large amounts of electricity bills, hundreds of Crores, are pending with domestic consumers. However, the government has almost cleared all the pending dues,” Prasad said.
He noted, “In the past, billing was not happening. Last year alone, we collected over Rs 135 Crores from domestic consumers, and I think currently, it will still be hundreds of Crores of Rupees pending with them.”
Regarding the lack of skilled manpower, the Principal Secretary said, “To manage the efficient sector, we need skilled manpower. We are recruiting more technical staff to reduce dependency on non-technical staff.”
It was reported that the Power Development Department (PDD) continues its ‘old and obsolete infrastructure,’ hindering uninterrupted power supply.
“The power demand in J&K is primarily met through hydel power, which varies with seasonal variations, causing power deficit mainly during winters when demand surges high,” official documents state.
Concerning the outdated infrastructure, the document reveals, “The replacement of existing old and out-dated elements of the distribution network has never been given due consideration, and many are continuing in the system for more than 40 years after repeated repairs.”
“In another report, KNO stated that in Jammu and Kashmir, the AT&C loss of the Power Development Department is one of the highest in India—causing a gap between power purchase cost.
Currently, AT&C losses are 50 percent, against the national average of 19.73 percent.
Official documents read, “The AT&C losses of the J & K Power Development Department are one of the highest in the country.”
“The present AT&C losses are 50 percent against the national average of 19.73 percent. Due to these losses, the gap between power purchase cost and revenue realization is huge,” it reads. (KNO)