SRINAGAR: Two successive governments have failed to fructify the plan of dividing the Power Development Department (PDD) into four separate companies. For the past six years, this move aimed at reducing power losses, providing financial autonomy, and bringing accountability and transparency, has been hanging like a dud.
The Omar Abdullah-led coalition government in September 2012 had decided to divide the PDD into four corporations: Jammu & Kashmir State Power Transmission Company Limited (SPTCL), State Power Trading Company Limited, Distribution Company Limited, and Kashmir Power Distribution Company Limited.
“Only registration of the companies has been done, and it happened many years ago. Nothing practical has happened,” sources in the PDD said.
Former finance minister Haseeb Drabu in his budget statement had said that the government would be putting at least the SPTCL in operation in the current financial year. It turned out to be another failed promise made in the state assembly by Drabu.
Sources said that the government would have to absorb employees of the PDD in the new corporations. Drabu in his budget speech had assured that the government would be “unbundling the department without prejudicing the service conditions of any of the employees.”
“We wanted them (employees) to be protected. The government had even agreed to it,” the sources said.
Power Secretary Hridayesh Kumar and MoS Power Asiea Naqash did not respond to calls from this newspaper.