Phasor measurement units (PMUs) are becoming popular and populating the power system grids rapidly due to their wide range of benefits and applications. This research paper proposes a comprehensive, effective, and revised formulation of the optimal PMU placement (OPP) problem with a view to minimizing the required number of PMU and ensuring the maximum number of measurement redundancy subjected to the full observability of the distribution grids. The proposed formulation also incorporates the presence of passive measurements/zero injection buses (ZIB) and the channel availability of the installed PMU. Additionally, the formulation is extended to various contingency cases i.e., the single line outage and single PMU loss cases. This paper solves the proposed OPP formulation employing a heuristic technique called backtracking search algorithm (BSA) and tests its effectiveness through different IEEE standard distribution feeders. Additionally, this study compares the obtained results with the mixed integer linear programming (MILP)-based approach and the referenced works. The obtained results demonstrate the superiority of the proposed formulation and solution methodology compared to other methodologies.