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.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Scandalous Loss of Power

Rashid says distribution loss in electricity generation is putting a huge burden ion the exchequer. An investigative report

(Mr. Rashid Paul, 40, was born at Ompora, near Budgam. He has a master's degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from the University of Kashmir. He has worked as a senior correspondent on numerous valley based dailies. He follows business and economy, conflict, environment and power beats. He is also a documentary film maker.)

Against 10,876 million units of energy only 4349.02 million units are billed by PDD

Srinagar: Throaty cries are being made about the success of power reforms in J&K but the distribution losses alone have surged to around 60 percent as only 4349.02 million units of energy are billed against a consumption of 10,876 million units.

The distribution losses in electricity supply have reached an incredible figure of around 60 percent although official assertions downsize the figure at about 50 percent. Even if it is taken as 50 percent, still the figure is the highest in the entire Indian subcontinent, official documents in possession of this news paper reveal.

The documents let slip the figure and say that current energy consumption is 10,876 million units while as only 4349.02 million units are billed.

This mismanagement drains the state coffers worth of Rs 2000 crores a year.
Official statistics put the revenue realization of Power Development Department (PDD) at Rs 703.21 crores. The proceeds are from its entire user base including domestic, industrial, commercial and other areas.

Now the question is: where does the unbilled energy go? Obviously, it is pilfered with active connivance of the PDD employees, official sources disclosed to this newspaper.

See the domestic subscriber base of the PDD. Out of 25 lakh households in J&K, only 12 lakh officially consume electricity.

What about the rest? Well, it is easy to guess!

According to official estimates the population of the state has reached 13.46 million people with nearly 25 lakh households. But the number of households subscribed to the PDD is even below the 2001 census.

According to the census, the state had a total of 15,51,768 households. However, only 1239216 subscribers including 5,77,976 from Jammu and 6,61,240 in Kashmir province are the registered consumers of the PDD.

Revenue realized from the manipulated and undersized domestic area stands at mere Rs 166.51 crores.

The pilferage in industrial areas, military establishments and official organizations is so far unnoticed. Millions of units of energy are consumed here without actually being paid for, say the insiders.

The per capita consumption of power has reached 832.1 KWHr from 549.56 KWHr in 2001 while as the revenue realization rate has failed to correspond with this rise, the official documents reveal.

At least energy worth Rs 2100 crores was purchased by the state from different CPSU’s across India but the revenue realization continues to be scandalous.

No comments: