Chamber opposes privatisation of power sector

SRINAGAR: The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Inc) Wednesday asked the state to shelve the plans of privatising the power sector.
“Privatisation of electric power supply system in the state would cause more difficulties to the consumer and would bring no immediate improvement in the situation. Therefore, it deserves to be shelved,” KCCI said in a press statement issued here.
For economic growth of the state and availability of uninterrupted electric power, the chamber said it has been demanding return of the power projects that are controlled by New Delhi-owned National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Ltd (NHPC).
“Unfortunately, despite assurances by the then Prime Minister (of India) and also the recommendation made by the Prime Minister’s Task Force constituted in 2004 and also by the interlocutors, no final decision with regard to the transfer of power projects could be taken by the government,” it said.
KCCI said 20,000 MW of hydro electric power can be generated from the state’s water resources to help in taking a “big leap towards progress and prosperity…”
Yet, it said, the power situation in commercial as well as domestic circles of the state remains “uncertain and erratic”.
“Load shedding and curtailment of power is frequent, and beyond tolerance. The supply is erratic, yet the bills are raised irrationally. Repairs of damaged transformers take months…,” it added.
Given the situation, KCCI said it has the “right to argue as to how the proposed privatisation of power distribution could help the situation improve.”
“The authorities shall set in order the prevailing system, which employees a large number of trained engineers and staff, in a manner that they are in a position to deliver on ground,” it said.