• J&K fails to meet deadline for achieving 1st milestone under UDAY scheme

    Jammu and Kashmir Government has failed to meet the deadline for achieving the first milestone fixed by the Union Power Ministry under its Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) Scheme as feeder metering has yet not been completed particularly in rural parts of the State. Moreover, the Power Development Department has not ensured compliance to the directives of State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) on furnishing action plan for implementation/achievement of operational milestones agreed to by it in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the Government of India.
    The J&K Government had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Union Ministry of Power on March 15, 2016 under UDAY Scheme for operational and financial turnaround of the State’s Power Development Department, official sources told EXCELSIOR, adding under the scheme the PDD has committed to achieve 11 operational milestones within the timelines fixed by the Ministry of Power.
    The foremost milestone was pertaining to 100% feeder metering in urban and rural areas of the State so as to ensure effective power supply maintenance and focused reduction of Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses and for completion of this vital exercise the timeline agreed to by the Power Development Department was June 30, 2016.
    However, the State has failed to meet the deadline for 100% feeder metering and even four months beyond the fixed timeline this vital exercise has not been completed in many rural parts of Jammu and Kashmir. “This has raised many doubts about Power Development Department’s efficiency in meeting timelines for other operational milestones”, sources said.
    It is pertinent to mention here that the main aim of signing this MoU is to restructure high interest rate of the total DISCOM debt thereby improving financial condition of PDD. The MoU under UDAY would enable Jammu and Kashmir to raise funds at cheaper rate to clear the outstanding dues of around Rs 3538 crore of CPSUs, which would entail an annual saving of Rs 1200 crore (over 4 years) towards interest cost to the State.
    As per the MoU, J&K is required to ensure 100% Distribution Transformer Metering by June 30, 2017; energy audit up to 10 KV levels in rural areas and feeder improvement programme by March 31, 2017; physical feeder segregation by March 2018; smart meters for consumers consuming above 500 units per month by December 2017; smart meters for consumers consuming above 200 units per month by December 31, 2019; implementation of ERP systems by March 2017 and providing 80 lakh LED bulbs for domestic and other categories under DELP during the financial year 2017-18.
    What to talk of meeting the timeline fixed by Union Power Ministry, the Power Development Department has also failed to ensure compliance to the directives of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission on furnishing detailed action plan for implementation/ achievement of operational milestones agreed to by the department under UDAY Scheme.
    For this, the SERC vide its order dated October 7, 2016 had given one month time to the PDD but like so many other directives of the Commission this one has also met the uncertain fate because of the non-serious approach of the concerned authorities, sources said while disclosing that detailed action plan is imperative so that SERC is also able to monitor the performance of the PDD in implementation/achievement of operational milestones fixed under UDAY Scheme.
    Meanwhile, metering of all the installations across the State will be completed during the Financial Year 2018-19 as per the plan submitted by the PDD to SERC. The PDD has conveyed to the Commission that it will install 344709 meters during 2017-18 financial year and 348103 during 2018-19 financial year. For 100% metering the PDD requires a total of 1,147,723 meters. Jon Halapio Authentic Jersey

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