Powerful defaulters such as CRPF, govt depts still refuse to clear dues
SRINAGAR: The conversion of the Power Development Department to a corporation has had no impact even after more than a year, the official figures clearly suggest. In the last fiscal 2020-21, the corporation realised Rs 1,081 crore revenue against the set target of over Rs 2,400 crore, that is, less than 50 percent of it.
This revenue amount was the same as that of the 2019-20 fiscal.
The government had claimed that the conversion of the department to a corporation would increase the revenue realisation, an aim which has clearly failed. An official said that the failure is due to past dues of consumers who have refused to pay them.
In a list released publicly last year, such defaulters in the state included former ministers, businessmen and defence establishments. Among the recurrent defaulters were former J&K Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh, senior PDP leader and former minister Naeem Akhter, and former minister Pawan Gupta.
Administrative departments alone owe over Rs 53 crore to the PDD, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation topping the list.
The area-wise details say that in the just concluded financial year, it is the ‘Circle Second’ which owes the most. Spread over Ganderbal, Sumbal and Bandipora, this circle had a target of over Rs 600 crore but ending up realising less than Rs 250 crore.
Circle Pulwama follows the Second. Spread over Pulwama, Awantipora and Shopian, it realised less than Rs 150 crore against the target of over Rs 370 crore.
None of the six circles has actually been able to come close to the targets.
The failure has come on the heels of the department warning that it would disconnect the electricity supply of all the defaulters if they failed to clear their entire dues. This warning does not seem to have been acted upon. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) continues to enjoy uninterrupted electricity even with outstanding arrears of over Rs 1 crore.
The same is true of administrative departments which owe over Rs 50 crore, the Health department owing close to Rs 10 crore.