Rather Concerned Over Burgeoning Power Losses

Rather Concerned Over Burgeoning Power Losses

6 February 2012
Rising Kashmir


Jammu: Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs A. R. Rather has called for an effective energy accounting mechanism to bring down burgeoning losses in power sector, which he said, is a stumbling block in the way of states development planning. He urged for joint efforts to bridge the gap between energy consumption and revenue receipts. Speaking at a review meeting of the power department convened here this after, the Minister said despite limited resources, state has to spend about Rs 3000 crore on import of power against a revenue of only Rs 700 crore which is a matter of great concern and needs immediate attention of the authorities at the helm of affairs. The meeting among others was also attended by Minister of State for Power, Shabir Ahmad Khan, Economic Advisor to Government Jalil Ahmad Khan, Principal Secretary Finance, M. Iqbal Khanday, Commissioner-Secretary Power Sudhanshu Panday, Director General Budget Ravi Kumar Mangotra, Secretary Power (Tech) Asgar Ali, Superintending Engineers, and Executive Engineers of the Power Department, Jammu division. Rather urged for a multipronged strategy to bring a turnaround in the power sector with emphasis on vigorous inspections, 100 percent metering and effective implementation of relevant laws to plug pilferages at various levels as also to affect targeted recoveries accurately. “Jammu and Kashmir is the single state where about 65 percent energy is lost due to power pilferage and T&D losses”, Rather said adding that the state’s economy cannot afford this kind of huge deficit for along. The situation demands self introspection and the onus lies on the officer, engineers and the field staff of power department. The Commissioner-Secretary Power informed the meeting that the department has conceived an energy accounting plan which envisages tallying of electricity units distributed from a particular feeder during a specified period with revenue collections made there to. If there is any mis-match in the energy supplied and revenue realized,the concern officers and field agencies shall be held responsible for the lapse. This mechanism shall make the staff manning the feeders and supplying electricity to a particular locality more accountable who in turn would ensure that power theft is curbed. He said Chairman State Electricity Regulatory Authority and IMPA have been asked to arrange orientation courses for the engineers and officers of the power department to educate them about various laws meant for streamlining the power sector. He said residences of all the VIPs shall be metered first and public support garnered to identify the elements indulging in power thefts in respective localities. He said APRs of the officers and engineers of PDD shall now be based on their performance in energy accounting. The meeting was informed that against a total number of about 6 lakh consumers in Jammu division, the number of electronic metered consumers ending December 2011 has reached to 2.75 lakh. The department needs Rs 65.05 crore for purchasing 3.15 lakh electronic meters for 100 percent metering of the consumers. It was stated that against a revenue target of about 1103.67 crore for the current fiscal, a revenue of 441.74 crore has been realized up to ending December 2011 which is Rs 77.23 crore more than Rs 364.50 crore revenue realized during the corresponding period last year. Meanwhile, the department has conducted about 25000 inspections up to ending December 2011, thereby imposing a fine of Rs 6.41 crore on the offenders. Besides, 100 percent consumer data stands digitalized for computerization of Billing in the division.