Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Friday, May 21, 2010

This is no"T&D Mumbo Jumbo" - it is Outright Thievery - and Kashmiris are #1

What is basically electricity theft is being repackaged in politically correct terms, but J&K takes the "Gold Medal" of infamy

T&D Losses in J&K Highest in Country

Jammu: The Government proposed to bring down Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses, which had touched an all time high at 65.7 per cent during last financial year (2009-10), to 57.4 per cent during the current year (2010-11). One per cent reduction in T&D losses will save Rs 25 crore burden on the State exchequer.

Official sources said the Power Development Department (PDD) hoped that a series of measures including increase in metering will help it bring down the T&D losses to 57.4 per cent during current year. As T&D losses last year stood at 65.7 per cent, the PDD will have to reduce them by 8.3 per cent to meet the target of reduction.

The Department would be in a position to save over Rs 200 crore if it managed to bring down the level of T&D losses to 57.4 per cent.

Significantly, the T&D losses have been going up for the last three years despite installation of electronic meters in several parts of the State. The T&D losses were 61.9 per cent and 61.3 per cent during 2007-08 and 2008-09 respectively. However, they went up to 65.7 per cent during 2009-10.

Total energy requirement for 2010-11 has been projected at 10,081 MUs taking into account 57.4 per cent T&D losses. Sales for current financial year were projected at 4286 MU and T&D losses at 5795 MUs taking total requirement of energy input at 10,081 MU.

Last fiscal year's energy requirement was 11,032 MUs which include 7257 MU T&D losses and 3775 MU sales. Energy requirement during 2007-08 and 2008-09 was 8743 MU and 9147 MU, sources said.

Admitting that T&D losses in the State are highest in the country, sources said the Government as well as State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) have described as ``unacceptably high'' the level of losses, which was putting ``enormous strain'' on the State finances.

The PDD proposed to improve revenue, quality of power supplied and reduce expenditure besides introducing a scheme of incentives and disincentives to bring down the T&D losses to an acceptable level. A counter-check system of meter reading and restricting the tenure of Meter Readers to a maximum period of one year at a place are among the other measures proposed to reduce the level of T&D losses.

The SERC has also asked the PDD to reduce the T&D loss levels by 10 per cent during current financial year by adopting various measures such as 100 per cent metering of consumers, metering of all distribution transformers in the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar, undertaking revision of agreements of all categories of consumers to arrive at realistic connected loads, re-activate supervision to check the menace of bypassing and tampering of meters, involve Electricity Magistrates already in place in the Department, computerize bills, reduce human interface and replace bare conductors with insultated wires in theft prone areas.

(Daily Excelsior)

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