Thursday, September 29, 2022

Jammu and Kashmir: Electricity worth Rs 5 billion bought from Pakistan and sold to consumers for Rs 25 billion

Rawalakot (Haris Qadeer): The government of Pakistan-administered Jammu and Kashmir buys electricity worth Rs 5 billion annually from the Federal Water and Power Authority of Pakistan (WAPDA) and sells it to consumers for Rs 25 billion:

Azadi Times: The government earns an annual profit of Rs. 20 billion through the transmission of electricity. Water use charges for only one of the hydropower projects in the region (Mangla Dam) are being paid by WAPDA to the local government. The government receives Rs. 700 million annually under 15 paise per unit water use charges. However, water use charges for hydropower projects in the remaining provinces of Pakistan are fixed at Rs 1.15. Similarly, consumers pay Rs. 3075.551 million in electricity bills to the government in the form of various taxes.

Thus, the amount received from electricity bills alone reaches about Rs 29 billion annually, while the government has to pay only Rs 5 billion to WAPDA for this electricity. On the other hand, the entire region needs only 350 megawatts of electricity. Despite being watts, the duration of load shedding has increased from 12 to 14 hours. 

About 3,000 MW of electricity from hydel projects in Pakistan-administered Jammu and Kashmir is currently flowing into Pakistan’s national grid, while others Many projects are under construction. Due to the diversion of rivers for dams to be constructed for hydel projects, other climate changes and other climate changes in the region are causing severe weather conditions, including clean drinking water and other new problems. The transmission system is also very rotten, so in case of light wind or rain, the power system is suspended for several hours. The burden of line losses due to tripping and sparking is also passed on to the average consumer. Necessary steps should be taken to ensure an uninterrupted power supply. 

In addition, consumers are facing more problems due to government interference and corruption. Electricity for hydel projects goes directly to the national grid station. From where it is distributed in all the provinces. WAPDA provides 2.59 paisa per unit of electricity to the government of the region, however, according to the rules framed at the time of NEPRA in 1997, the same tariff was fixed for the sale of electricity for the whole of Pakistan and the Territories. At present, the same tariff is applicable in all of Pakistan except Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (K Electric). 

That is why the Department of Electronics in Pakistan-administered Jammu and Kashmir is also receiving electricity bills according to the same tariff. He said that talks were held with NEPRA regarding the increase in water use charges. However, in this case, it was said that if water use charges are made at Rs 1, 15 paise, then electricity will be provided at Rs 10 to 12 per unit instead of Rs 2.59. In such a case, there is a possibility of more harm than good, so the talks have not progressed yet. In the past, the local government did not have the authority to set up power generation projects.  

However, after the 13th amendment, there is now an option to implement power generation projects up to 50 MW. In some areas, small hydel projects have been implemented by the government, which are meeting the needs of the local population. However, no clear plan has been made by the government in this regard. 

If only this huge amount of money from electricity bills is used to generate 300 MW of electricity locally, then in just 5 years, more electricity than the region needs can be generated locally. 

In this way, not only the load shedding of electricity can be eliminated, but also the heavy financial burden imposed on the consumers by the bill can be eliminated. Local grid station A protest movement has also been launched on the demand of providing additional power to the national grid after supplying electricity to the local grid as per the requirement of the region from the projects already set up to meet the electricity demand. NSF Rashid Sheikh says that electricity is being generated from this region, the need here should be met first, the lives of the people of this region are at stake due to cheap electricity generation.

The environment has been ruined, but a strange law has been clarified that electricity will go to the national grid, from there it will be given back to the region and 12 to 14 hours of load shedding will also be done. And there is injustice. Despite robbing the pockets of poor people of billions of rupees, electricity is not being provided. 

We demand that when electricity is purchased in this region at Rs. 2.59, then the rates for consumers should be fixed at less than Rs. 5 per unit and this region should be provided complete exemption from load shedding.

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by Azadi Times