Due to harsh winter this season, the power consumption bill of Jammu and Kashmir’s power development department has reached to a record high of around Rs 3000 crores.
According the official figures, during the last financial year 2010-11, the PDD had purchased the power from the northern grid worth Rs 2600 crores, but due to the increasing demand of power during this winter, the increasing consumption of power has forced the state government to import additional power from the northern grid worth Rs 3000 crores.
The PDD senior officials said that state has only around 750 Megawatts of power available with the state run power projects, but due to abnormal power load during peak hours, had forced the department to import the power around 300 Megawatts to met the growing demand of the power.
The PDD officials maintained that for the first time in the last couple of years, power purchase bill of the State Government has touched Rs 3000 crores during the current financial year in view of increased demand of supply by their consumers in Kashmir valley and Jammu in summer.
The official also stated that it would be an increase of nearly Rs 400 crore in the power purchase bill during 2011-12 as compared to 2010-11.
The official records of the department also indicate that power consumption has gone up to an all time high at 3.5 lakh units per day. The State was at present generating just 30 per cent of the power consumed while rest 70 per cent was being purchased from northern grid.
The department has collected only around Rs 2000 crores from the households and from the different departments. However, the department is optimistic that in the coming months remaining money would also be collected from the.
“A large collection, especially from industrial sector and offices of both Central and State Governments, besides the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) pay in last half of the financial, as we are anticipating the revenue to cross four digits for the first time,” official also said.
The sources in the department also said that during first plan meeting held between Planning and Finance Department with the Planning Commission of India, the State had sought an annual power grant of Rs 2000 crores from the Central Government till the State becomes self sufficient in power and was able to overcome a huge deficit between power purchase bill and revenue realization.
The Planning Commission had agreed to give a sympathetic consideration to the demand projected by bureaucrats of the State Government. The State had been given Rs 1300 crores worth annual power grant for three years during the tenure of Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad as Chief Minister of the State.
The special power grant was given during 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09. It was stopped after three years. The Government has been demanding the special power grant on the same pattern from Rs 1300 crores to Rs 2000 crores, sources said.