SERC extends deadline for metering of all connections up to June 2013

PDD blames public resistance, climatic conditions for failure
Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Apr 26: Coming to the rescue of the Power Development Department (PDD) in avoiding impending crisis, State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) has extended the period for supply of electricity to 4.5 lakh un-metered consumers beyond April 28 and metering of all these connections up to June 30, 2013.
Authoritative sources told EXCELSIOR that as 4.5 lakh un-metered connections were not liable to get electricity supply beyond April 28 as per the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Electricity Act, 2010, the Power Development Department yesterday moved an application before the State Electricity Regulatory Commission seeking extension of period for installation of 100 per cent correct meters at all levels and to supply electricity to all un-metered consumers in the State.
“As 4.5 lakh un-metered consumers were all set to land in severe crisis, the SERC sympathetically considered the request of the Power Development Department and in exercise of the powers vested in it under the second proviso to Section 49(1) of the Act, the Commission today extended the period for supply of electricity beyond the expiry of two years from the commencement of J&K Electricity Act, 2010 for installation of correct meters up to June 30, 2013”, the sources said.
While extending date, the SERC stressed that Power Development Department should stick to the new deadline for metering of all sorts of connections as the un-metered supply has been one of the factors responsible for high loss levels in the State, sources said while disclosing that Commission will shortly issue fresh set of guidelines to the Power Development Department for meeting the target of 100 per cent metering by June 2013.
While giving reasons behind failure to meet the earlier deadlines vis-à-vis 100 per cent metering, the Power Development Department told the Commission that metering of all the connections got delayed mainly because of huge public resistance. Though the Department resorted to even disconnection of power supply to the non-metered consumers yet the same could not yield tangible results, the PDD further told the Commission.
It was also conveyed to the Commission that due to adverse climatic conditions for several months when several parts of the State remain inaccessible the metering process could not be started. It was also stated by the PDD that it was practically impossible to arrange such a huge number of meters in the limited time-frame.
While submitting comprehensive metering plan along with application seeking extension in the deadline for metering of all left over un-metered connections, the Power Development Department said that all HT connections will be metered by June 30, 2012 and all the Government connections in Kashmir valley as well as in Jammu region would be metered by July 31, 2012.
Similarly, all the LT connections in R-APDRP areas would be metered by August 31, 2012 and in non R-APDRP areas, the metering exercise would be completed by April 30, 2013.
It is pertinent to mention here that 30 towns of the State which have more than 10,000 population are covered under R-APDRP scheme of the Government of India.
Stating that 60 per cent metering of un-metered connections would be completed by April 2013 and 100 per cent by June 2013, the Power Development Department told the Commission that metering of distribution transformers in R-APDRP areas would be completed by July 31, 2012 and 11 KV/33 KV feeders would be metered by November 30, 2012.
About the public resistance to the metering exercise, the Commission, according to the sources, stressed that Department should initiate required steps to motivate the people and generate awareness among them about the benefits of metering.

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