Over Rs.11,000 crore spent on buying power from outside: Kashmir

Srinagar, Oct 10 (IANS) The Jammu and Kashmir government has spent over Rs 11,000 crore on purchase of electricity from outside in the last three years, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh told the assembly on Saturday.

The state, rich in hydroelectricity, imports electricity to meet its energy shortfall which gets worse mostly in winters.

“Rs.3,945.850 crore were spent on purchase of energy from outside the state in the year 2013-14, similarly Rs.4,719.604 crore were spent in 2014-15 and Rs.2,432.627 crore, till end of August this year,” said Singh, who also holds power department portfolio.

The cash-starved state government had recently asked the central government to return the 390 MW Dul Hasti and 480 MW Uri-I power projects from National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) to the state ownership to boost its economy, but the union power ministry denied the request, citing “legal and financial issues”.

The state government said it has to pump huge amount of money in meeting its power requirement and the revenue collected from electricity dues falls way short of the expenditure.

“In the year 2013, the government recovered Rs.1,713.37 crore, while as in 2014, Rs.1,738.17 crore were collected… till the end of August this year, only Rs.668.15 crore recovery could be made,” said Singh.

There are around 16,47222 registered consumers in the state out of which 8,38258 are metered consumers.

Currently, NHPC generates 4,961 MW of hydroelectricity in six states out of which Jammu and Kashmir alone contributes 2,009 MW.

The state generates 761 MW electricity from its own 21 power projects run by Power Development Corporation (PDC), while as it needs 2,500 MW to meet energy requirements.

PDC has said its main concern is transmission and distribution losses affecting power distribution service, with highest loss percentage of 74.65 percent in Ganderbal district in the Kashmir Valley and lowest of 23.31 in Poonch district.

However, it said it has been able to reduce transmission and distribution losses from 61.58 percent in 2012 to 55.20 percent in 2014.

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