J-K’s own govt departments defaulting on power bills

As the Centre annually provides Rs 1300 crores to JK’s Power Development Department to tide over its revenue short fall,the outstanding against different government and semi government departments stands at a whopping 700 crores.

Written by Mir Ehsan | Srinagar | Published: February 16, 2009 9:39:27 am

As the Centre annually provides Rs 1300 crores to JK’s Power Development Department to tide over its revenue short fall,the outstanding against different government and semi government departments stands at a whopping 700 crores.

The Jammu division of Public Health Engineering Department (PHE) tops the list of PDD defaulters with an outstanding of Rs 266 crores,while as the department in Kashmir division owes Rs 38 crores towards PDD.

State’s Estates department,which provides accommodation to J-K’s top bureaucrats,officials and ministers,has not disposed of Rs 12 crores liability with the Power department. (The current liability of estates department stands as Rs ten crores in Jammu and two crores in Kashmir)

The Jammu Relief department,which provides electricity to migrant camps and other installations,has an outstanding of Rs 67 crores. Similarly,Jammu and Kashmir Police has a cumulative liability of Rs 11 crores against PDD (six crores in Jammu and five in Kashmir).

J-K’s Medical Health department too has not cleared its electricity dues as the department has not paid 15 crores of its power tariffs in the state. Different lift irrigation schemes that are being managed by Jammu Mechanical Irrigation department has a colossal outstanding of Rs 62 crores. Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) – an autonomous body too has defaulted with the PDD and has not settled its power tariff amounting Rs 3.8 crores,likewise,different Municipal Councils and Municipal Committees in Jammu owe Rs 30 crores towards PDD.

Urban Environment Engineering Department (UEED) Kashmir that operates dewatering pumps in Srinagar has a liability of Rs 14 crores. Mechanical Irrigation department,Kashmir has not paid Rs three crore towards PDD. Government Press Kashmir has also failed to clear Rs two crore electricity tariff liability with the Power department. Apart from these departments,there are hundreds of other government departments and autonomous bodies that stand defaulters towards the PDD.

Development Commissioner Power,R K Seli said the government is aware of all the outstanding. “The liabilities keep on changing once department starts depositing money. This time it’s around 650 crores,” he said. Seli however said that PDD can’t snap power supply to these departments as then people will suffer. “We have already taken up the issue with government,” he said.

While confirming the huge liabilities against different departments,Chief Engineer PDD,Jammu,Ajay Gupta said that in case government departments fail to deposit money then their electricity will be disconnected. “We can’t take action against such departments that are running essential services,” he said.

Chief Engineer,PDD Kashmir,Aftab Ahmad said that a major chunk of money is lying with the common consumers. “This time we have an outstanding of 400 crores in Kashmir division and 200 crores are with the government departments,” he said adding that the money lying with the government departments is a secure amount. “Still,we take up this matter with the government on daily basis,” he said.

The state has around 13 lakhs of domestic and commercial connections and the PDD in both Kashmir and Jammu has failed to achieve its revenue targets. And to meet this revenue short fall,Centre has been allocating Rs 1300 crores as grant to Power Department from last three years.

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