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Centre approves Rs 12,000 cr package for revamping power infra in J&K

JAMMU, May 10: The Central Government has approved Rs 12,000 crore under Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS) for Jammu and Kashmir to overhaul power infrastructure in both urban and rural areas to ensure regular electricity supply to the Union Territory.
“Under the scheme, Jammu and Kashmir divisions will get Rs 6000 crore each for improving power infrastructure for uninterrupted power supply, plugging pilferage and reducing Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses,” official sources told the Excelsior.
In turn, however, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has been asked to increase revenue generation to overcome losses it was suffering because of wide gap between funds incurred on power supply and revenue received from the people, industrial establishments, security installations etc.
Initially, according to sources, there was a proposal with the Central Government to provide Rs 8,000 crore worth package to Jammu and Kashmir under RDSS—Rs 4,000 cr each to two divisions but with the intervention of the UT Government and administration and support by the Central leadership the amount was raised to Rs 12,000 crore—Rs 6,000 cr each for two divisions.
Out of Rs 12,000 crore worth package, Jammu and Kashmir divisions will get Rs 3,000 crore each immediately to start the works mentioned under the scheme while the rest amount will follow after expenditure to the satisfaction of the Central Government especially the Union Power Ministry.
The Power Development Department can utilize the package for improving infrastructure including installation of new transformers, electric poles, wires, Smart Meters etc.
“Focus in rural areas is on installation of electric poles where wires are hung on trees or wooden poles, new transformers and improve other infrastructure so that power supply is not affected by adverse weather conditions,” sources said.
They added that release of remaining funds will depend on completion of work by the Power Development Department in both urban and rural areas.
Increasing revenue, plugging pilferage and reducing AT&C losses are also linked to further release of the package.
“Increase in electricity charges mooted across Jammu and Kashmir by the Power Development Corporations in the two divisions is also part of increasing revenue from domestic and commercial consumers, industrial establishments, security installations etc to fulfil guidelines for release of the package,” sources said. The increase proposed by the two Corporations will yield more revenue in Jammu than Kashmir, they added.
The Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme will last till the Financial Year 2025-26. (Daily Excelsior)

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