JK Owes Over Rs 5000 Cr To Power Utilities

27 September 2015
Rising Kashmir
Ishfaq Naseem

Srinagar: The state government has incurred liability of over Rs 5,000 crore towards power utilities including the Power Trading Corporation (PTC) and Power Development Corporation (PDC) due to non-payment of power purchase dues. Sources said the Power Development Department (PDD) has taken up the matter with the Finance department, seeking release of money to pay the power dues. But officials said the liabilities are pending for last three to four months while arrears of previous years have also not been paid. Due to non-payment of dues to the power utilities and the power generation units outside, the state is facing shortage of electricity to meet the daily demand. The state government is importing power to meet the demand which has soared to 2600 Mw of electricity against 2020 Mw demand during the peak hours in 2007-08. However, officials said the government is facing a deficit of 600 to 700 MWs on daily basis. According to PDD officials, the liabilities are due to use of electricity more than the agreed load by consumers particularly during the peak hours in evening. The violations have been majorly done by domestic consumers. 'The state purchases power at higher rates to meet the peak hour demand which has shot up the power purchase bill of the government,' said a senior PDD official. 'The average price of the per unit cost of electricity at peak hours is much higher than the normal unit cost and it has been mainly due to the excess consumption by domestic units that the liabilities have increased,' added the official. Officials said the liabilities are on account of the excess power purchased by the government which is in addition to the power allotted by the Union Power Ministry to the state. 'We purchase the power from the Indian Energy Exchange on the basis of allotment being made by Government of India (GoI). The power is purchased mainly from the PDC and National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and apart from that there is a share which is decided by the Central government to buy electricity from different power houses. But to meet the demand we draw excess power which is billed at higher cost to us,' said a senior government official. Power Development Commissioner, Gul Ayaz, said government is working on a policy to ensure that there is no pendency on account of liabilities. 'A policy is being framed to ensure that the power liabilities are cleared at the earliest,' he said.