Srinagar: With winter chill setting in earlier than expected, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has directed the Power Development Department (PDD) to work out an institutional mechanism that will ensure availability of power as per the notified schedule.
"With onset of winter, it has become imperative to educate people to make judicious use of power, enabling the department to deliver better services and reduce damage to transformers," Sayeed said at a review meeting here last evening.
Sayeed also issued instructions to fast-track installation of electricity meters and gearing up inspections to check the pilferage of power.
Pointing out the difficulties countenanced by people in winter when peak demand for electricity goes up manifold, Sayeed stressed upon creation of an institutional grid that monitors curtailment schedules and power pilferage.
"It is the duty of the department to religiously adhere to curtailment schedules so that people do not face any hardships," he said.
During harsh winters in the past, the people have faced difficulties due to regular power outages and breakdown of transformers.
Sayeed was also apprised about the expected improvement in power generation by 450 MW Baghliar II, which is being commissioned next month. He was also informed that some deficit can be overcome by banking in additional power in view of the generation available from Baghliar II during summers.
While reviewing demand and availability scenario, the Chief Minister also directed the chief secretary to fast-track 100 percent metering to ensure prudent use of electricity.
Sayeed noted with concern the slow pace of metering in uncovered areas.
"A transformer bank should also be created so that people do not suffer in case of breakdowns," he added.
The Chief Minister was informed that out of 16.50 lakh power connections, 53 percent have been metered so far. As many as 20,000 meters have been procured under RAPDRP through turn-key contract and their installation initiated.
Due to contractual issues, no procurement of digital meters could be done for the last three years.
The Chief Minister also directed the chief secretary to obtain details of present status of private power projects in the state, adding the government should provide the required facilitation for private players to operate in a hassle-free manner.
He also directed the concerned officials to delink the power supply at Pahalgam and Gulmarg so that dedicated electricity is made available to these resorts in winter.
On the issue of gap of Rs 3,500 crore between power purchase and actual revenue realised, Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu apprised the chief minister about raising bonds of Rs 7,000 crore to liquidate the power purchase liabilities.
"Our gap is in fact only Rs 2,500 crore as we extend approximately Rs 1,000 crore power subsidy to the state's industrial sector," he added.
The PDD has framed a committee under Development Commissioner Power and a note is being finalised for approval of the state Cabinet in this regard.
In the first six months the fiscal, a total of Rs 802.29 crore revenue has been realised. The meeting was informed that the department expects to realise revenue of Rs 2,000 crore this year. Last year, the total revenue realised was to the tune of Rs 1,736.27 crore.