KPDCL Staff Doing Commendable Job:Aijaz Ahmad Dar, Chief Engineer KPDCL

KPDCL Staff Doing Commendable Job: Aijaz Ahmad Dar, Chief Engineer KPDCL C

Chief Engineer Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL), Aijaz Ahmad Dar is an Engineer and Administrator par excellence. In an exclusive interview with the News Kashmir Magazine, Aijaz Ahmad Dar talks to Rameez Makhdoomi and Farzana Mumtaz.

What has been the reason behind better electricity availability this year in Kashmir?Apart from the dedicated and commendable job by my staff, who have been tirelessly working in filed on all fronts, better power supply this year in the valley can be attributed to the substantial system upgradation at transmission, sub transmission and Distribution Network, especially during the last 10 months. We have added 305 MVA at Sub transmission level and 82 MVA at Distribution level this year alone. Because of this capacity additions, we have been able to supply 10 percent more energy this year than last year. In the month of January, we supplied 18% more energy than Jan-2021. If we compare ongoing winter with previous, we are supplying about 150 MW more power and 50 Lac units more per day. Our outages have been minimal, all due to expeditious power restoration by my staff. The people also have appreciated the same, which in turn has boosted the morale of my organization

Is less Snowfall this winter responsible for better power supply?

No, we had good snowfall in the starting week of January this year in entire Kashmir. The load reduced but we restored it back immediately.  Our demand plummeted from normal 1600-1650 megawatt (MW) to 618 MW but, we restored it back to normal within few hours. Majority of the Receiving stations and sub stations were restored immediately barring few minor exceptions like upper reaches of Waltangoo, South Kashmir.Out of 35830 Stations, only 112 stations took more than 24 hours to restore, primarily due to inaccessibility due to heavy snowfall in upper reaches.

Common people Want to know what are smart meters?

The smart meters in nutshell keeps the customer aware about his usage and bill of electricity. The issues of under or over billing of customers would come to an end.  There would be compact and smart billing system in place.Are we moving towards an Era wherein we pay for electricity like mobile recharge?Yes, once the required advancement happens, it is highly likely that like we recharge our mobile according to our needs, same way we would be doing for electricity.  In coming years this could be a reality.

Would the rates of smart meters remain same?

The electricity rates would be same in smart meters as in previous electronic meters. The customers won’t depend on our human resource to take their reading, as with every hour, our system would update them.

What about interests of poor people in Kashmir in future billing?

This is not a question directly related to them as I have to look for Power distribution but still for awareness the poor people, I would like to add here that we have been taken due care of them by executing less load agreements and when you use less it would be less billing. For economically weaker section of our society, we have highly subsidized metered unit rates for initial consumption.

So we won’t be paying high like Mumbai or Delhi?

Our rates of electricity are lowest in country.  We are presently working on a new proposal of power tariff, which will be put first before Regulatory Commission for approval. Be assured, even after revision of tariff, Jammu and Kashmir will still be getting the cheapest electricity in country.

Your focus was on lessen the distribution loss?It is a reversible process. Last year, despite giving 10% percent more energy we were able to lessen the power losses by 6 %. This year too, we have been able to achieve target by 5 percent loss reduction despite giving more energy. On-going System renovation and modernization works especially by installation of AB cabling with smart metering, the distribution losses would be reduced greatly.

What about tragic loss of human resource during carrying necessary repairing of electricity poles especially daily wagers? 

The death of personnel during repairing is unfortunate.  99 percent loss of life occurs due to violation of SOPs. We are conducting workshops to make our staff aware about SOPs and equipped them with protection gears & safety equipments and if they adhere to this, no loss of life will occur.

Is compensation being given?

We have to first get medical report and get FIR Report.  We have recently cleared 15 cases and more compensation cases are being cleared.

Your message to consumers and employees?The employees have to continue their work hard and prompt fault clearance. They have to play their role to ensure no power theft happens and lead the Power Corporation with great example of honesty and hard work culture.People should not use heavy loading which puts entire system in peril and unethical practices like power theft should stop. People should in these pandemic times, use online modes of payment for clearing their electricity bills, which will help us to serve them better.