J&K purchases power for Rs 6200 Cr; collects revenue of Rs 2600 Cr

Rs 3600 Cr deficit dents exchequer; deptt blames consumers for pilferages
[Image for representational purpose only].
[Image for representational purpose only].File Photo

Srinagar, Sep 10: Jammu and Kashmir spends Rs 6200 Cr annually on power purchases while its revenue realization is just Rs 2600 Cr on account of tariff collected from consumers.

The revenue deficit of Rs 3600 Cr is borne by the J&K government out of its kitty.

A senior Power Development Department (PDD) official informed that the revenue deficit faced by the PDD was a cause of concern as it was directly connected to losses.

“We are buying electricity worth more than Rs 6,200 Cr every year, but are able to earn only Rs 2,600 Cr as revenue. Though a number of steps have been taken to bridge the gap between power purchases and revenue collection yet it needs support from the people. They should desist from pilferages,” he said adding that the government had started installation of smart meters in the UT.

Sources informed that Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha during a review meeting directed PDD to reduce power deficit by 10 percent within three months. Following which the PDD decided to go all out against the government departments, leading industrialists, commercial establishments and all other willful defaulters to recover outstanding dues from them. For this purpose, the PDD announced to give incentives to the staff which would collect dues immediately and would penalize the poor performers.

Several government departments and universities and many private healthcare establishments in Kashmir owed a whopping Rs 2300 Cr to Kashmir Power Development Corporation Limited (KPDCL) on account of pending energy bills.

The reply by the KPDCL to a query asked under Right to Information Act revealed that in Kashmir there were pending energy bills worth Rs 2348 Cr. They were mostly pending with the government departments.

As per the reply, the department of Public Health Engineering (PHE) owed Rs 1081 Cr, Tourism Rs 34 Cr, Public Works Rs 16 Cr, Housing and Urban Development Rs 106 Cr, Home Rs 206 Cr and Irrigation and Flood Control Rs 415 Cr.

Heavy liability was also pending with the Estates department which provides housing facilities to the bureaucrats and government officials. Private hospitals too are in the list of defaulters.

As many as 20 private hospitals owed nearly 1.4 Cr KPDCL on account of electricity bills, as per a RTI reply.

Despite having the capacity to generate 20000 MW of hydropower, only 3500 MW of electricity could be harnessed after 1947. Now the PM Modi-led government sanctioned hydro projects of 3400 MW in two years. “We would generate the same amount of electricity in the next four to five years that was generated in the last seven decades,” a senior official said.

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