Govt mulls to privatise power sector

Moazum Mohammad

Jammu: The state government plans to privatise power sector in the near future, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh told Kashmir Reader.
Singh, who is also the Minister for Power and Housing and Urban Development, said although a formal decision is yet to be taken the government will be privatizing the sector to reduce losses.
“Currently, the power infrastructure is in a mess and we are determined to improve power supply and distribution,” said Singh, who was a teacher at Jammu university before being elected as Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s deputy in the PDP-BJP coalition.
According to Planning Commission’s Annual Report (2013-2014) on the Working of State Power Utilities and Electricity Departments, released in February last year, J&K has the highest (62%) transmission and distribution losses followed by Bihar (44%) and Madhya Pradesh (35%). The states having relatively low T&D losses include Himachal Pradesh (11%) and Andhra Pradesh (16%).
“Loading shedding will be curtailed especially in the month of Ramadan in Kashmir. We want to overhaul the entire system to make it profitable. Also, we will end corruption,” he said.
Singh said, as mentioned in the coalition government’s Agenda of Alliance, a few power projects currently in central government’s possession will be returned to the state.
Recently, PDD employees warned of launching a statewide agitation if the government goes ahead with unbundling the power department.
Spelling out his ministry’s plans for urban development, Singh said that a comprehensive road plan will be formulated to ease traffic congestion and removed bottlenecks in Jammu and Srinagar cities.