The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh announced power tariff revision a few days back. As per an order, the revision will be effective from October 1, 2022.
The commission stated that the new tariff has been designed in such a way that it ensures minimum inconvenience to the citizens while at the same time protecting the interests of the domestic, commercial, agricultural, and industrial sectors. It also added that it had been ensured that the tariff in J&K was significantly lower than any other neighbouring state, and was almost half when compared to states like Haryana, Delhi, and Rajasthan.
The commission has also given reasons for the increase in power tariff. In spite of these reasons, it is also a fact that the revision has occurred at a time when financial condition of a vast majority of population in Jammu and Kashmir is not that good. The overall business is not going on expected lines.
The markets are presenting a grim picture. Also, the apple trade, on which the livelihood of lakhs of people depends, is currently running in a rough weather due to various reasons, including falling rates in the markets outside. Lack of job opportunities in government sector is also complicating the problem in view of the growing unemployment among the educated youth.
Meaningful generation of employment could have helped in a big way. The authorities surely are within their rights to take decisions including that on power tariff revision, whenever they feel the requirement. The authorities say that the tariff has been revised to provide a round the clock power supply to the people of J&K as well as reduce the massive losses. Having a round the clock power supply particularly during winter is a long cherished dream of the consumers here. This dream has not yet come true.
The power scenario deteriorates in winter. The scheduled and unscheduled power cuts make the lives of people miserable. This is happening despite Jammu and Kashmir having so much of power generation potential. If the potential was fully utilised in past and the electricity generated, used here, J&K would not be importing power from outside for its requirements. Whatever has happened in past, now serious efforts should be made to make J&K self reliant in power sector in true sense.