Jammu, August 11: After a lot of pressure from the Union Power Ministry on J&K to lower the T&D losses which was highest in the country, the Power Development Department is replacing existing wires by aerial bunched cables which will prevent hooking by consumers.
The special power cables having plastic covering are being laid by IRCON Ltd and the project is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Seen as the last option to curb electricity theft in the city, the PDP-BJP coalition government was keen to complete the project on time.
Under the Restructured-Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP), the Central Government has sanctioned Rs 1,600 crore to the state for upgrading infrastructure, which will be utilised for laying multi-purpose cable and upgrading the electricity transformers.
“So far we have remained unsuccessful in stopping power theft, and reforms initiated since 2005 have not achieved much. This project is the last option to stop revenue loss as power purchase bill is growing out of control and is having a negative effect on the state’s economy.”, said a senior PDD official.
Power losses due to ineffectiveness of reforms process during the last decade is a major challenge for the state government. Crores of rupees have been spent on improving the power sector, but to some extent these measures have failed to curb the losses because everyone from government departments, ministers, bureaucrats and common masses are found involved in stealing power. Several measures taken by the government, including imposition of heavy fines on the consumers indulging in theft and installation of more than six lakh electronic meters in the state, have not achieved much.
“IRCON is the executing agency and when the process is complete the PDD will shift the supply through them. After the electricity is supplied through the new system, it will improve the distribution process,” said Chief Engineer, PDD, Ajay Gupta.