From no 1 corrupt state to 3rd highest with T&D losses; J&K story of failures continues

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Bharti Jasrotia

 

Jammu and Kashmir after having been rated as second most corrupt state in the country. Jammu and Kashmir has earned another distinction of being the state with highest transmission and distribution losses after Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

Jammu and Kashmir is number three among twenty nine states of the country. According to the data available with Newspoint Bureau, Jammu and Kashmir” transmission and distribution losses are around 49.14 percent which is slightly lower than Sikkim’s 71.23 percent and 68.20 percent of Arunachal Pradesh. A lot of states have improved the power scenario but Jammu and Kashmir has failed to make any significant improvement.

States like Manipur, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra have brought down T&D losses considerably. They have improved the power scenario in their respective states and have been appreciated by the Union ministry of Power.

But, Jammu and Kashmir has failed to achieve anything significant. Though it has brought down the T&D losses from 71.16 percent in the year 2011-12 to 49.14 percent in the year 2014-15 but, this is just incremental change and does not board well for a state whose electricity crisis deepens during harsh winters and extreme summers.

Ask for the reason and you would come to know about the non-seriousness of the state government to address the situation. Power Development Department (PDD) of Jammu and Kashmir has failed to achieve the targets for lost reduction set out by State Electricity Regulatory Commission. Details available with Newspoint Bureau further indicate that PDD had promised to reduce the T&D losses to 52 percent by the end of year 2013-14 but, it failed to meet the target.

Later on, it refixed the target at 45 percent for the year 2014-15 but again could not meet the target. SERC had directed the PDD in the previous tariff orders to carry out system studies for determination of transmission losses in the system and also conduct feeder-wise energy audit and consumer indexing for estimating the base T&D loss level. The Commission had also directed to identify the feeders with high loss levels and develop a holistic loss reduction plan for reducing distribution losses on such feeders. However, the PDD has failed to do so.

This indicates that nobody in the department is serious about reducing T&D losses, said an official. He added that PDD should make serious efforts to achieve the targets set out for reduction in losses, the Commission has now said that any inefficiency on account of the PDD should not be passed on to the consumers.

In view of alarmingly high T&D losses, SERC directed the PDD to submit the district-wise and circle-wise loss reduction plan. It made it clear that failure to do so will invite penalty. SERC further directed Power Development Department (PDD) to fast-track the implementation of R-APDRP, IPDS and other schemes in order to achieve the desired results.

SERC has now directed PDD to reduce aggregate T&D losses up to 42.26% during the current financial year, up to 38.56% during 2016-17, 35.20% during 2017-18, 32.32% during 2018-19, and 29.68% during 2019-20 and up to 27.04% during 2020-21 financial year, sources disclosed.

Though the PDD has not yet fixed targets for collection efficiency and Aggregate Technical and Commercial losses, the Commission, while observing that PDD is having one of the lowest collection efficiency in the country, has directed the department to achieve collection efficiency of 100 percent from 2016-17 financial year besides making all out efforts to recover the past arrears, sources said.

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