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news details
BJP’s another gift of discrimination to Jammuites
80000 smart electricity meters to be installed in Jammu, only 35000 in Kashmir
5/29/2020 12:06:08 AM
EARLY TIMES REPORT

JAMMU, May 28: The Bhartiya Janta Party led Union government has given another gift of discrimination to Jammuites by taking the decision of installing 80,000 of the smart electricity meters in Jammu province while 35,000 in the Kashmir province.
The decision to install smart electricity meters in Jammu and Kashmir provinces was taken in a meeting of Power Development Department (PDD), in which modalities for the implementation of smart meter installation project and execution of Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC) for IT infrastructure created under R-APDPR Part-A were discussed.
In the meeting, headed by Principal Secretary, it was decided that the implementation of smart metering, comprising installation of 1.15 Lakh smart meters, would be started from July 2020 and the hardware along with software solution for it would be provided by REC PDCL. It was informed that out of the 1.15 Lakh meters, 80 thousands would be installed in Jammu division which accounts for nearly 70 percent of total meters while only 35,000 in Kashmir division, which accounts for 30 percent of the total meters.
The meeting was also informed that 10,000 meters have already been procured and these would be installed in rural areas of Union Territory. However sources said that before the lockdown the department had purchased over 30,000 electricity meters out of which only few have been utilized while remaining are still lying unused. “If the department had to install new smart meters, then which those meters were purchased and installed recently”, an official said, adding that even in Kashmir valley, in several areas, simple meters had not been installed.
Every type of policy, which goes against the people’s interest, is experimented in Jammu. “Jammu is consuming less electricity but generating more revenue than Kashmir and pilferage of electricity is high in Kashmir and not in Jammu but the government has decided to install smart meters in Jammu, which speaks about their discriminatory policies against Jammu.
“It is another gift of BJP led Union government to Jammuities, who have been supporting its decisions since long but in return they have been deceived with repeated denials on account of share in development issues, share in government jobs, on account of funds, on account of stalled development projects”, an official said, adding that before holding power, they have been talked about discrimination but it seemed to be only restricted for political gains of getting power for BJP leaders.
“Even the BJP had been talking about Chief Minister from Jammu but if the unconfirmed reports of Executive Council hold some waters, then the head will again be from Kashmir. Are the BJP leaders consider Jammuites fool and have no wisdom”, a local youth questioned adding that the BJP leaders have been exposed and their only motive was to gain power and not to end discrimination otherwise the installation of smart meters would be more in Kashmir province rather than Jammu as Kshmir has more population as well as more consumption of power and more revenue losses.
Sources in PDD informed that after coming to power BJP has accelerated the efforts to privatize the department. “The complete infrastructure is of the department, while the department has been purchasing power to the tune of around Rs 6 per unit but selling at the rate of around Rs 2.50 per unit, due to which the department has been incurring losses”, an official said adding that when the power would be privatized the private companies would start charging above Rs 6 per unit from the consumers and if the department would start charging same rate from consumers there would be no need of privatizing the revenue collection.
“The smart electricity meters will have an electronic chip and are prepaid meters. The consumer will be able to utilize as per the recharge and once all the smart meters will be installed, there would be no pilferage then what is the necessity of privatizing the department”, the official said, adding that it would simply benefit the private companies, in which many would have their stakes.
“If government had decided to privatize the power then why electricity connections were given to poor consumers for free? Was it merely to pat their back before national audience? Moreover to benefit few companies as well as their companions, the BJP has been privatizing the power and Jammuites would be the first to taste the pinch”, an official said, adding that it is the BJP’s way of ending discrimination with Jammu.
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