J&K yet to take seriously alarmingly high T&D losses

Inefficiency should not be passed on to consumers: SERC

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Oct 26: Though the Transmission and Distribution losses in Jammu and Kashmir are still much higher than the neighboring States, the State Government has not yet paid any serious attention towards this grave issue and is watching as mute spectator the failure of the Power Development Department to meet the targets during the past several years.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that though Power Development Department has reduced the distribution losses from 58.34% in financial year 2010-11 to 47.34% in financial year 2014-15, the loss levels in Jammu and Kashmir have remained historically high because of varied reasons particularly due to inefficiency and lack of seriousness at various levels in the department.
The inefficiency of the PDD can be gauged from the fact that during the past several years it has failed to achieve the targets for loss reduction set out by Jammu and Kashmir State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC), sources said. What to talk of targets fixed by the Commission the PDD has failed to meet even its own targets thereby indicating that nobody in the department is serious about curtailing T&D losses at fast pace, they added.
Giving details, sources said that for the financial year 2012-13, the PDD had proposed in its petition before the SERC reduction of T&D losses at 52.82%. However, the Commission approved the targets at 46.76%. “What to talk of meeting targets fixed by the SERC, the PDD failed to achieve its own target as actual loss reduction during this year was recorded at 57.37%”, sources added.
Likewise, the department proposed to bring down T&D losses to 51.54% during 2013-14 financial year but actually the same was recorded at 51.69% against 45.26% fixed by the SERC. Similarly, the T&D losses were recorded at 49.12% against 48.24% proposed by the department and 43.76% approved by the Commission for 2014-15 financial year. In this way, the actual T&D losses submitted by the PDD were higher than that proposed by the department itself.
The SERC had directed the PDD in the previous tariff orders to carry out system studies for determination of transmission losses in the system and also conduct feeder-wise energy audit and consumer indexing for estimating the base T&D loss level. The Commission had also directed to identify the feeders with high loss levels and develop a holistic loss reduction plan for reducing distribution losses on such feeders. However, the PDD has failed to do so. “This indicates that nobody in the department is serious about reducing T&D losses”, sources remarked.
Stating that PDD should make serious efforts to achieve the targets set out for reduction in losses, the Commission has now said, “any inefficiency on account of the PDD should not be passed on to the consumers”.
In view of alarmingly high T&D losses, the Commission has now directed the PDD to submit the district-wise and circle-wise loss reduction plan. It has made it clear that failure to do so will invite penalty, sources said, adding the Commission has also directed the PDD to fast-track the implementation of R-APDRP, IPDS and other schemes in order to achieve the desired results.
The Commission has also directed the PDD to reduce aggregate T&D losses up to 42.26% during the current financial year, up to 38.56% during 2016-17, 35.20% during 2017-18, 32.32% during 2018-19, 29.68% during 2019-20 and up to 27.04% during 2020-21 financial year, sources disclosed.
Though the PDD has not yet fixed targets for collection efficiency and Aggregate Technical and Commercial losses, the Commission, while observing that PDD is having one of the lowest collection efficiency in the country, has directed the department to achieve collection efficiency of 100% from 2016-17 financial year besides making all out efforts to recover the past arrears, sources said.

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