Run sustained campaigns to raise awareness of people about judicious use of electric appliances: Chief Secretary
JAMMU: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, in a high level meeting, impressed upon the officers of the Power Development Department (PDD) to run large scale campaign to make people aware about the judicious use of electric appliances. Dr Mehta enjoined upon them to make the masses fully acquainted about the consumption of electricity by different electric appliances like ACs, Water Heaters, Room Heaters and others so that they become aware about costs and use these gadgets judiciously. He asked them to use the power of our youth in changing the attitude of people by making them champions of change in the society. The Chief Secretary stated that losses suffered on power purchases exceed more than Rs 3500 Crore annually with previous liabilities piling up by each passing year. He reiterated that these resources belong to our people and should optimally be utilized in creation of jobs for youth or other welfare measures for the people of J&K. He observed that people should be sensitized about the same through massive outreach campaign and this gap in power purchase and revenue realization should be minimized for the general good of masses particularly the educated youth of the UT. He further added that the overall AT&C losses should be brought down to less than 20% in the UT. He emphasised on having a proper mechanism to redress the grievances related to billing of consumers. He told them to fix Electric Division wise targets for demand side management. He emphasized on enhanced enforcement for reduction of distribution losses and metering of power connections. The Chief Secretary also emphasized on making the flat rates less attractive so that people prefer switching to metering of their power connections. He observed that most of the people are ready to pay for their consumption. The new mantra should be 100 percent payment and 100 percent electricity. He made out that people who clear their dues regularly deserve to be provided quality power round the clock. The Chief Secretary further exhorted upon the officers that the smart metering of all the urban areas of the UT should be completed by August this year. He asked them to establish dedicated enforcement teams in each circle to ensure proper monitoring and surveillance of the consumers. The Principal Secretary, PDD, Rajesh Prasad in his presentation stated that the Department has formulated plan to reduce AT&C losses to 41% from current 49% during the coming financial year which would further be decreased to 20% till financial year 2025-26. He also stated that the gap between Average Cost of Supply (ACS) and Average Revenue Realised (ARR) for the year 2022-23 is Rs 1.79 which is going to be further minimized to Rs 1.60 in the next fiscal and to Rs 0.58 by 2025-26. He further apprised the meeting that the Department has conducted 166134 inspections in the UT thereby imposing a penalty of Rs 15.03 Cr and making 133534 disconnections of erring customers till February this year. In addition the Department has recovered Rs Rs 54.92 Cr in the shape of arrears from both domestic and commercial consumers. As far as bringing efficiency in distribution system is concerned, the Department is going to implement the projects worth Rs 5641 Cr sanctioned by GoI under Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS) to install the Smart meters to the tune of Rs 1046.71 Cr and carry out other loss reduction works to the tune of Rs 4595.20 Cr. The completion of these projects are going to greatly reduce the AT&C losses further thereby making additional energy available to Department for providing 24×7 quality power supply to consumers across J&K. Others who were participated in the meeting physically or virtually included the MDs of KPDCL and JPDCL besides the Chief Engineers and other concerned officers of the Department.