Jammu and Kashmir is facing imminent threat of massive power outage after it failed to pay dues to electricity generator NTPC Ltd. The state-run company has served notice to the power department, asking it to pay dues of over Rs 1,600 crore or it will snap electricity from February 19.
NTPC supplies over 900 megawatt to Jammu and Kashmir.
In a notice sent to the state's Power Development Department (PDD) that is responsible for distributing electricity across the state, including in Ladakh region, NTPC said the bills were not cleared despite the 60-day grace period from the day they were issued.
"In case of default in payment, NTPC has the right to shut-off or restrict power supply from the power stations and reallocate power," the coal-based power generator said in the notice.
A majority of NTPC's stations are coal-based, and 80 per cent of the cost goes towards coal supplies for which payment has to be made in advance. Huge outstanding dues affect the NTPC's ability to generate power, officials said.
On February 5, the company had issued similar notices to Telangana, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to regulate power, as the states had about Rs 4,138 crore dues for over 60 days. But those notices were later put on hold after the distribution companies or discoms in the southern states assured of paying up.
Jammu and Kashmir may lose as much as 939 megawatt -- enough to power a large region -- from the NTPC's plants in Dadri, Koldam, Farakka, Auraiya, Rihand and Unchahar.
NTPC said it has been following up at various levels with the PDD and the Jammu and Kashmir administration to recover its dues. But it did not see any money coming in.
The aggregate technical and commercial losses (AT&C), which indicates the amount of electricity lost due to pilferage and billing inefficiencies, are highest in Jammu and Kashmir among all the states, at 52.8 per cent against the national average of 21.2 per cent, according to government data.