The promise of providing 24-hour uninterrupted power supply remains a far off dream in Jammu and Kashmir. Govt accepts the fact that power sector is a key enabler to bring back the State’s economy on rails. In actual terms the State is only tapping 3,272 MW of power which is negligible compared to untapped vast reserves. State buys from central pool and other states to meet its need. As the summer peaks everyone knows the situation gets worst. With open pilferage, under billing, manipulations through ‘Kundi’ used by well off to Jhuggiwalas with impunity, low power revenue collection in both domestic and commercial sectors, high Transmission and Distribution (T and D) losses because of geographical disadvantages, there is no remedy to this malady. The State carries a negative account with more drawal and mounting liabilities due to power purchase. There is a widening gap between power purchased and revenue realised making the situation critical. And with summer setting in the demand for power consumption would increase manifold thus adding burden to the already existing weak infrastructure. Even if the projected capacity addition as envisaged for the next six years is taken into account including 6254.50 MW generation of power through 13 state sector, 1679 MW through five central sector and 1210 MW through big and small IPP projects the full potential remains untouched. The implementation of flagship schemes like RAPDRP (Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme), DDUGJY (Deen Dayal Upadhayaya Gram Jyoti Yojana) and IPDS (Integrated Power Development Scheme) present a grim picture with most of them remaining midway of execution or have not taken off because of various bottlenecks present in the system. As far as improving revenue collection is concerned there is a need for actual mapping of consumers by linking data of Power Department with CA and PD and States Tax Departments. Still many villages remain un-electrified in the State and the pace at which PDD is targeting to cover them it looks will take its own time and there is every possibility of time running out three years target. Financial discipline is needed the most to make power sector key factor of change and growth as the demand for power is going to increase in future also especially when the state is vying for smart city ranking for the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar.
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