PDD Fails To Replace Substandard Metres

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Srinagar: The Power Development Department has failed to replace the poor quality metres that were installed years ago in Jammu and Kashmir.

The PDD has admitted to the State Electricity Regulatory Commission in October 2015 that “poor quality” metres were installed for the consumers which necessitated the replacement.

Sources told KNS that the meters procured in the past have been of substandard quality.

They said by the time the department proposes to achieve its metering target, the existing installed meters become obsolete.

“These metres had developed some defects within months but the government didn’t replace them,” an official of the PDD told KNS.

The official said the substandard metres had brought heavy losses to the government.

Ali Mohammad, a resident of Bemina, said the meter that the PDD had installed in 2012 has not been working for the last few years. “We asked the PDD officials many times to replace the poor quality meter but nothing happened so far,” he said.

The PDD has been facing hurdles in installing metres in several areas due to public resentment resulting the department had missed several deadlines of 100 percent metering. The PDD officials said the department had envisaged to meter to all its consumers by the end of the 2019.

“The pace of metering has been very slow during the last couple of years due to resource constraints and some bottlenecks. However, implementation of R-APDRP scheme will facilitate purchase of meters which would help in meeting its targets,” the officials said.

Owing to repeated failure of tendering process, a parallel mechanism for procurement and installation of meters through a central government agency will also be put in place in addition to the procurement through tenders so that the metering process is expedited and completed within three years, they said. However, the department is yet to decide when the poor quality metres are to be replaced.

The PDD has projected installation of 1147723 metres from 2015 to 2019 in domestic and non-domestic categories of which 202374 have been installed during 2015-2016, and has projected installation of 252537 metres in 2016-2017, 344709 in 2017-2018 and 348103 in 2018-2019. The Department had earlier set up the target of 100 percent metering by 2014 and was later extended to 2015 after facing protests in various parts of the State and now set up the deadline to 2019. (KNS)

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