No power cuts in Jammu city, unmetered areas to face below 6 hrs curtailment: JKPDD

Jammu, Jun 20 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Department (PDD) on Tuesday said there will be no power curtailment in Jammu city, while the power cuts in rural and unmetered areas will be restricted to below six hours.

The announcement came at a time when protests against the department over frequent outages were gaining momentum amid hot and humid weather conditions in the region where the mercury is hovering around 40 degrees Celsius.

The JKPDD said its decision to go for no power cuts in Jammu city and restrict the curtailment below six hours in unmetered areas from June 20 was part of its endeavour to provide respite to the consumers from the scorching hot weather.

Dozens of agitated residents on Tuesday staged a protest in Talab Tillo area on the outskirts of Jammu city against recurring power cuts, while frequent protests were also reported from different parts of the city over the past fortnight.

Almost all political parties including the Congress, PDP, Apni Party, National Conference and National Panthers Party criticised the administration for its alleged failure to provide uninterrupted power supply to the consumers in the city and elsewhere.

A JKPDD spokesperson attributed the improvement in the power supply situation to certain recent developments in the power sector like J-K’s own power generating plant i.e. 900 MW Baglihar HEP, which was generating at a reduced capacity due to low discharge of water in river Chenab, has now picked up and generating power at its full rated capacity.

Similarly, the power allocation from the Centre has increased by 200 MW from hydro generating stations located outside J-K from where the union territory imports power, due to improved generation in central sector hydro generators such as Naptha Jhakri, Koldam and Tehri, he said.

Additionally, there has been an improvement in thermal generation also by around 60 MW, leading to a higher allocation of power to the union territory, the spokesperson said.

He said in the present era of digitalisation, stringent payment security mechanisms have been introduced by the power generating companies (gencos), whereby JKPDD has to make advance payments to the gencos for procurement of power.

“The power procurement price from the market is also soaring high with average per unit price ranging from Rs 5 to Rs 7, against which J-K is charging heavily subsidised average tariff of Rs 3 per unit from the residential consumers,” he said.

The spokesperson has appealed to the general public to use power judiciously and pay their electricity bills on time, enabling the department to make timely payments to gencos and ensure a smooth power supply to consumers during these peak summer days.