In Kashmir valley, over 50 Pc electricity consumers without meters

In Kashmir valley, over 50 Pc electricity consumers without meters

Riyaz Bhat

Srinagar, Dec 01 : In Kashmir, more than half of the electricity consumers are without meters—giving a space to push up the Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses further.

Principal Secretary, Power Development Department H Rajesh Prasad told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that it has already invested over Rs 5,000 Crores to overcome the losses.

“I think there is a need to invest more in the Power Development Sector because there are outdated cables, poles and transformers. It will take a lot of time and more investment is required. By that way we can reduce one of the components for AT&C losses,” he said.

Prasad further said, “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 less traditional metered consumers and ironically 50 percent of the consumers do not have the meters at all.”

He further said that there was a dire need to make every consumer metered. “Besides, we have to make sure that every unit of energy is accounted for, and then only the count of losses will be reduced. People will have to stop power theft and hooking on power lines.”

The Principal Secretary said there were more possible reforms and investments required to replace the entire outdated and obsolete infrastructure in PDD.

“Whooping amounts of electricity bill of hundreds of Crores are lying pending with the domestic consumers. However, the government has almost cleared all the pending dues,” Prasad said.

He said that in the past ‘billing was not happening’. “Last year only we collected more than Rs 135 Crores from the domestic consumers and I think that as of now it will be still hundreds of Crores of Rupees that are lying pending with them.”

On asking about the lack of skilled manpower in the department, the Principal Secretary said, “In order to manage the efficient sector, we of course need skilled manpower. We are already recruiting more technical staff to stop being dependent on non-technical staff.”

Pertinently, KNO in previous week reported that the Power Development Department (PDD) was continuing its ‘old and obsolete infrastructure’ that is posing a major hindrance in providing uninterrupted power supply to the citizens.

“The power demand in J&K is primarily met through hydel power, which, however, varies with seasonal variations, thereby causing power deficit mainly during winters when power demand surges high,” reads the official documents.

About the continuance of old and obsolete infrastructure, the document reveals, “The replacement of existing old and out-dated elements of distribution network has never been given due consideration and many of which are therefore continuing in the system from more than 40 years after repeated repairs.”

“It was posing a major hindrance in providing uninterrupted power supply mainly due to frequent snapping of conductors and damage to the transformers,” it reads.

In another event of stories, KNO further reported that in Jammu and Kashmir, the Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) loss of Power Development Department is one of the highest in India—causing a gap between power purchase cost.

Currently, the AT&C losses are of the order of 50 percent against the national average of 19.73 percent.

On the basis of official documents available, it reads, “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 of the order of 50 percent against the national average of 19.73 percent. Due to these losses, the gap between power purchase cost and revenue realisation is huge,” it reads—(KNO)

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