SRINAGAR: Facing high aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses in electricity distribution, Kashmir Power Development Corporation has initiated several measures, including disconnecting services to defaulters, to reduce the deficit.
“As far as KPDCL is concerned, it has the highest AT&C losses in the country. I would say we are around 64 per cent,” Chief Engineer KPDCL Javeed Yousuf Dar told PTI.
The J&K government purchases electricity worth Rs 7,500 crore every year and recovers only Rs 3,500 crore, Dar said.
“So, this is a serious issue so that is why it becomes necessary that we recover the charges from the consumers. It is the reason why we have take the step of disconnecting supply to consumers who have huge arrears outstanding against them,” he added.
The Union Territory administration also announced an amnesty scheme for defaulters, waiving off the interest and surcharge accumulated in their outstanding bills.
“We treat any consumer who has outstanding against him as a defaulter. Any consumer who has not paid for three billing cycles is to be treated as a defaulter and the bill that goes to the consumer is to be treated as notice. The KPDCL reserves the right to disconnect service to any consumer who has not paid,” he added.
The disconnection drive is vigorous and a large number of connections have been disconnected. The list of defaulters has been available with each and every electric sub-division.
Arshad Ahmad, a resident, said the steps taken by KPDCL have resulted in improved electricity supply.
“The voltage has increased because the unnecessary use of electricity has dropped. The hooking (electricity theft) has also come down substantially,” he said.
Ahmad, however, said there was still room for improvement as loadshedding happens at crucial times like Iftaar and Seheri.
Another city resident Sheikh Imran said the people of Kashmir were not yet ready for installation of smart meters.
“Do the people have capacity to pay the high bills that these meters generate? Electricity is needed for various purposes during winter. The bills will be so high that people might need to sell property to pay for it,” he added. (PTI)