ZT News Network
SRINAGAR, AUGUST 8: In a significant decision, Jammu & Kashmir government has announced privatisation of power metering and billing in the state.
On Wednesday, the State Administrative Council (SAC) accorded sanction to the engagement of the Rural Electricity Corporation Power Distribution Company Limited (RECPDCL) for carrying out power meter procurement, meter reading, billing and maintenance across the state.
Jammu & Kashmir is presently faced with high level of power losses, which have been at 60% during 2016-17.
The thrust of the latest move is on metering and structured billing in the state’s rural areas.
So what all will this company do in J&K?
The company has been engaged as PIA on nomination basis to:
(i) procurement and installation of 9.25 lakh electronic meters in the rural and urban areas of the state, sanctioned under PMDP, DDUGJY and IPDS, at an estimated cost of Rs 282.15 crore, (ii) O&M Services for the upkeep and Maintenance of Consumer Metering in rural and urban areas, at an estimated cost of Rs 44.53 crore (iii) managing Meter Reading and Bill Generation in rural and urban areas, at an estimated cost of Rs 61.32 crore and (iv) procurement and installation of 2 Lakh Smart Meters in towns / urban areas of the State, at an estimated cost of Rs 126.54 crore.
Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) given a go-ahead for execution of Smart Grid Project in J&K
The SAC also accorded approval to the engagement of Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) for execution of Smart Grid Project in J&K at an estimated cost of Rs.140.55 crore.
What is the Smart Grid?
The Smart Grid Project will have attributes like Substation Automation System (SAS), Smart Collection Mechanism (SCM), Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Outage Management System (OMS), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System and Peak Load Management (PLM). PGCIL is being entrusted the job of execution of Smart Grid project for 19 towns/industrial areas in the State.
How this decision came into being
Pertinent to mention is that the proposal was placed before the SAC earlier. The SAC had decided that the proposal be examined by a Committee comprising Advisor incharge PDD and Administrative Secretaries of Finance, Planning and Power Development Departments particularly in regard to providing the contract to the Central PSU(S) and also examining the utilization of existing manpower in meter reading operations.
Following the recommendations of the Committee, the SAC accorded approval to the proposal including the recommendation that the services of existing 341-meter readers shall be utilized for overall supervision of the metering activities to be tendered out by RECPDCL to the Private Agency and that the Power Development Department shall devise a strategy for utilizing their services in a better way.
The vision of Government is to accomplish 24X7 Power for all by 2019 in a time bound manner which cannot be accomplished unless 100% consumer metering is achieved, an official statement issued in Srinagar today said.