PDD retreats after SERC stick
Will Review Curtailment Schedule: DCP
Srinagar, Dec 27: After the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) showed its strong disapproval for the extended electricity curtailment schedule for the Kashmir Valley, the Power Development Department (PDD) Tuesday said it will review the load-shedding program announced Sunday. The curtailment schedule also evoked sharp public criticism with consumers and business houses terming it a harsh move.
“We will review the curtailment schedule from tomorrow. While the metered areas will be exempted from any future curtailment, the department would also give relief to the consumers in the non-metered areas if the energy losses are brought down to permissible limits in defaulting localities,” Development Commissioner Power, Manzoor Ahmad Salroo, told Greater Kashmir.
The volte-face comes after SERC, having quasi-judicial powers to regulate the energy sector in the state, summoned the PDD authorities following a petition filed before it by civil society members seeking reversal of the ‘penalizing’ curtailment schedule. The petitioners pleaded before the Commission that the load-shedding program announced by PDD on Sunday is “discriminatory and violation of J&K Electricity Act and SERC guidelines.”
Though the PDD authorities have, meanwhile, sought some more time to respond to the petition filed before the SERC by civil society member Shakeel Qalander. PDD authorities were supposed to respond to the petition today.
Salroo said the department will respond to Commission’s queries soon. “We will not violate guidelines issued by the regulatory body,” he said and added that in case consumers do not cooperate how they shall expect to be protected by the regulatory body or any other agency. SERC authorities said they have given time to PDD to respond to its queries. “They (PDD authorities) have asked for some time and will respond to our observations on the issue in a couple of days,” SERC chairman, SM Desalphine told Greater Kashmir.
While issuing notice to PDD authorities Monday, SERC had observed that the curtailment schedule should be approved by the Commission and it should be shared equally by the entire state. “We have listed the case for tomorrow and some directions will be issued. A notice has already been sent to PDD authorities,” SERC member Devinder Singh Pawar had told Greater Kashmir.
The Commission had also observed that the consumers have to be taken into confidence before issuing any curtailment schedule. “If there is shortage of power supply to the state, the department has, at first to explain it to the consumers and seek their cooperation for extending curtailment,” it observed.
SERC chairman maintained that if PDD brings down the Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses, which are the highest in JK at present (around 60 percent) against the national average of 28 percent, the power scenario will improve automatically.
“The losses have come down a bit but not to the extent SERC expects. The Commission is not satisfied with the performance. There should be improvement in quality of power supply.
We are monitoring the situation closely as power losses is the main problem,” Desalphine added.
However civil society members argue that if there is any violation from some consumers it is the problem of PDD to fix it. “Why should department pass on its failures to the entire lot of consumers,” they ask.
The curtailment schedule has also come under sharp criticism as consumers are demanding “non-discriminatory” power supply to the Valley vis-à-vis other regions.
Sources said in Kashmir average revenue realization per domestic consumer per month has been Rs 265.63 till November this year in comparison to other region where the realization is Rs 157.
As per the fresh curtailment schedule, un-metered areas are subjected to three evening and two nightlong cuts during a week while the metered areas have to undergo one evening and three day cuts in a week.
There are three evening cuts during a week between 6 pm to 10 pm (4 hours) and two nightlong cuts between 10 pm and 5 am (7 hours) in a week in the un-metered areas. Further, there are also power cuts during the day between 8 am to 1 pm (5 hours) and 1 am to 6 pm (5 hours) thrice or four times a week in the un-metered areas. The morning curtailment is between 5 am to 8 am (3 hours) thrice a week in these areas.
In the metered areas, according to the fresh schedule, there is curtailment in the evening hours from 6 pm to 10 pm (4 hours) once a week. There are also power cuts in these areas between 5 am to 8 am (3 hours), 8 am to 1 pm (5 hours) and 1 am to 6 pm (18 hours) once in a week.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 27 Dec 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 27 Dec 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 28 Dec 2011 00:00:00 IST
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