SRINAGAR: The J&K Government’s Power Development Department (PDD) has decided to pay outstanding dues in parts to electricity generator NTPC after the latter threatened to curtail power supply from February 19 midnight to Jammu & Kashmir.
The national company had warned PDD, which owes it Rs 1,600 crore, of restricting supply from its power stations in India over the defaults in payments.
Principal Secretary PDD Hirdesh Kumar told Kashmir Reader that the government will pay, in parts, enough to NTPC in the coming days for it to not cut power supply.
The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) supplies more than 900 megawatt of power to Jammu and Kashmir. It said in its warning to curtail power supply that it had taken up the issue of outstanding dues with the PDD and the Jammu and Kashmir Government at various levels, but to no avail.
Kumar said on this matter, “The money was pending because there was an accumulated overdue of the past years, which had reached to the extent of Rs 1,600 crore. But now there is a budgetary allocation and the money will be released.”
The payments are overdue mainly because the PDD realises Rs 4,000 crore less in revenue than what it spends on buying electricity. This Rs 4,000 crore is lost mostly due to aggregate technical and commercial losses (AT&C), which occur due to archaic distribution and transmission infrastructure, and pilferages. These losses are more than 55 percent of the operating costs, as against the national average of 21.2 percent. This percentage has remained the same over many years.
J&K has to rely on purchasing power from suppliers outside the state despite having the potential to generate 20,000 MW on its own. Since 1905, when the state was the second in the Indian subcontinent to have its own Hydro Electric Project (HEP), it has only added about 40 percent to its total generation. Its targets of adding additional 6,000 MW are in limbo because of various reasons.