Jammu and Kashmir may face blackout; Central agencies threaten to snap power supply

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir may plunge into darkness as power generating companies have threatened to stop electricity supply to the state for failing to clear the pending dues.

A letter from Chief Engineer Commercial and Survey Wing, PDD J&K to Development Commissioner Power, Srinagar, has revealed that the state may witness shortfall of approximately 1100 Megawatt from Wednesday midnight.

On July 22, power generating companies had directed JKPDD to open Letter of Credit (LC) in favor of Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs).

“It was communicated by various Central Public Sector Undertakings for opening Letter of Credit in compliance to the order of Ministry of Power GoI. Accordingly, this office vide letter No: CE /C&S/J/T-2/ 1412-13 dated 22-07-2019 communicated the same to the higher authorities along with the amount of the Letter of Credits to be opened in favour of the various CPSUs. This was also in compliance to the directions issued by Commissioner Secretary JKPDD during the meeting on the subject matter on 22-07-2019,” the letter reads.

Sources said the process of opening Letter of Credit with the bank is still under process. However, under rules the power generating companies have to stop supplying power if the dues are not cleared on time.

“Further it will be in place to mention here that the Commissioner Secretary in his letter to Secretary Ministry of Power , GoI, intimated that the department has proposed to open Letter of Credit with the bank in favor of supplying agencies on quarterly basis. The proposal has been submitted for the approval of competent authorities in the bank and government, which may take some time,” it reads

As per the communiqué, based on the agreed Payment Administration document the power generating companies have decided to stop the electric supply.

“Furthering the matter, it is intimated that as per the Power Availability schedule for 1-08-2019 it has come to fore that the regulations stand imposed on JKPDD as per the Payment Administration document and the availability of power to J&K from all the sources including BHEP1/BHEPII and local generation will approximately 800 MW with an average shortfall of approx. 1100MW from midnight,” it reads.

A senior government functionary confirmed the authenticity of the letter. He said there are differences between state government and power generating companies over the issue.

An official said as per the set rules the government department was not authorized to open Letter of Credit.

“Unlike other states in Jammu and Kashmir maintenance and distribution of power is managed by a government department, PDD , not by any company. As per standing rules a state government department was not authorized to open a Letter of credit,” he said

The functionary said that Jammu and Kashmir government was in the process of setting up a company to manage the distribution supply of power and “till that arrangement was made this job would be done by PDD and central agencies have been informed about this many a time.”

He said the State government including Governor Satya Pal Malik and Chief Secretary B.V.R.Subrahmanyam were in constant touch with central authorities to sort out the issue.

“However, till Wednesday evening no positive outcome was reported out of the deliberations,” said an official

He said the power supply could be snapped in the state.

In May We reported that one of the power generating company National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has not ruled-out the possibility of suspending the power supply to Jammu and Kashmir if they state government failed to clear its pending dues.

J&K owed Rs 759 crore to NTPC and as per the norms every power generating company gives 60 days’ time to Discoms (power distributing agencies) to clear the bills for utilizing electricity.

(The Kashmir Monitor)

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