The huge difference between the power supplied, and revenue earned by the Power Development Department in Jammu and Kashmir has set alarm bells ringing as this difference is widening at a high rate every fiscal. As a result the union power ministry has constituted a joint team of centre and state officials to suggest measures for rejuvenation of the power system, make available continuous power supply, and improve power infra to ensure it reaches the last mile in remote areas.
Union power minister has asked the committee to submit report within a month, and it would be considered during a high level review meeting meant only for J&K to see what measures can be taken to boost power generation, supply, and revenue mobilization. The step comes after massive power cuts, and shortages forced people to raise the matter with the government, and lodge protests across the state.
The team comprises Union Joint Secretary Power Jyoti Arora, Central Electricity Authority Managing Director, Principal Secretary Power, J&K, Sandeep Naik, Chief Engineers (Power) Jammu wing and Kashmir wing and Chief Engineer (System and Operations) Kashmir.
A major issue which the centre has flagged is Rs 6000 crores of liabilities which the state government has been burdened with on account of the power bill. While the state buys power and supplies it to users the cost comes to 4000 crore every year whereas the revenue generated is only 2000 crores which leads to massive gap between revenue and purchase bill. There are massive losses in transport and distribution system in the state which are a major burden on the state power department.
While the centre wants each and every village to be connected, it also wants to boost generation while at the same time ensuring that users pay for the electricity consumed by them. It has also be asked that the state should change power lines to check pilferage, and also install meters of better quality to improve revenue and supply.