PDD Response to KCDS: Valley Consumes More Power, Has To Pay More

Srinagar: The Power Development Department (PDD) Friday replied to the Petition filed by Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) to State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) on December 4.

PDD in its reply to SERC  has stated that energy consumption in Kashmir is more as compared to Jammu, due to which the tariff here is more that the winter capital.

Valley based Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) had filed a petition for redress of grievances for ‘Irrational and discriminatory’ power curtailment schedule enforced by Power Development Department in the Valley to the Chairman, J&K State Electricity Regulatory Commission Jammu.

The petition had stated that the curtailment scheduled announced by the department for metered and unmetered consumers unilaterally without the approval of the Commission be kindly quashed.

“Even if some curtailment in the power supply becomes inescapable for the department, any schedule of curtailment issued is required to be non-discriminatory in nature for all regions in the entire state. Apart from that the schedule needs to be approved by the Commission. The power supply to consumers in unmetered areas (in Kashmir) has dropped to less than 50 percent and in such circumstances the consumers should be made liable to pay only 50 percent of the electricity tariff of their agreement,” reads the petition.

The petition had further maintained that although Kashmir has more consumers (667541) in the domestic category as compared to Jammu region (608695), the average tariff per consumer per month stands at Rs 182.41 in Kashmir in comparison to Rs 145.31 in Jammu up to ending October, 2013.

The reports received stated that the PDD on Friday sent its reply to SERC, maintaining high energy consumption as the basic reason for the more tariff in Kashmir valley. According to the secretary SERC Abdul Hameed the commission has received the reply from PDD and that the same shall be thoroughly examined next week. 

The Chief Engineer PDD when contacted confirmed that the department has sent the reply to SERC and that it has been thoroughly answered all the queries that KCDS had raised in its petition. “We cannot have only the one side of the story. The fact is that in Jammu, the energy consumption is less as compared to Valley. If the Jammu consumer consumes 60 units, the person in the Valley has the consumption of 90 units at the same time. The tariff has been formulated in accordance to the consumption of power. ”

He however failed to give a convincing answer about higher consumption of electricity in Jammu during summer months as compared to the Valley.

Shakeel Qalandar, member KCDS , who had filed the petition before SERC said that the people of Valley expect that the commission will provide some relief from darkness and that it will use its power so that the people could get benefited at large. “The belated reply of PDD to our petition questions the very veracity of the logic behind the power tariff and other related things. We want SERC to utilise its power for the common weal.” 

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