Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a public sector undertaking (PSUs) set up by Union Power Ministry has promised to replenish its stocks across Kashmir in a week so that the electricity consumers do not face any difficulty in procuring these subsidised power-saving LED bulbs.
Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA), a government of India scheme was launched in September with much fanfare in Kashmir like other parts of India but the customers in most of the parts of valley complained about the shortage of the LED bulbs, which was reported by Greater Kashmir on December 7.
Reacting to the GK story on shortage of bulbs, an official of EESL said stocks will be ramped up in a week. "On the shortage of bulbs in Sonwar, Nowgam, Rawalpora, Pulwama and Baramulla regions, all these regions have stocks available with them and will be replenished with more stock in the coming days. EESL is ensuring that all the distribution centres have enough stock to meet the demand," said the EESL official.
Common Service Centres or Khidamt Centres across Jammu and Kashmir under the supervision of Power Development Department (PDD) have been designated as the distribution points.
The official said the shortage was due to prevailing unrest, which hampered the movement of the trucks carrying LED bulbs but added that stocks are being filled up now on priority.
"Many a times the situations across the cross points hampered the truck movement, but EESL officials with the help of PDD worked round the clock to ensure minimum disruptions as a result of which they were able to distribute this landmark distribution even in during the most turbulent times in Kashmir" said an EESL official.
According to EESL, in order to meet the consumer demand, a quota of 10 lakh additional bulbs have been allocated for JK. The firm is also increasing number of sales points from the existing 500 to 700 by end of December, he said.
"We currently have over 500 distribution counters operational across the state. We plan to increase the counters to over 700 by the end of this month . 40 Lakh LED bulbs in a span of just three months have already been distributed in JK," the official said.
Reacting to reports about consumers being turned back from the PDD Superintendent Engineer office near Kashmir Haat without any bulbs, EESL has promised action against erring official.
"We have also raised the concern regarding one of the distribution centres in Kashmir Haat and an appropriate action is being taken," the EESL official said.
On the issue of consumers being asked to pay in advance by the sales points to procure bulbs, EESL has informed that consumers should report such incidents on its website or its social media platform.
"EESL neither encourages nor has asked the consumers to pay in advance for the LED bulbs. Any such incidents should be reported with us," the official said.
The UJALA scheme has envisioned distributing 80 lakh subsidized LED bulbs across 16 lakh families in JK after CM Mehbooba Mufti launched the program in September under Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture company of the public sector undertakings (PSUs) of the Union Power Ministry. As part of this scheme, domestic consumers can procure five high quality 9W LED bulbs for Rs 100 at a subsidized cost of Rs 20 per bulb after providing latest copies of their electricity bill and identification proof. Beyond five, consumers can buy additional bulbs at the cost of Rs 60 each.