Power cuts compounding miseries of people

Protests in many areas against PDD

SRINAGAR:  As the winter has started to make the life tougher in Kashmir valley, the Power Development Department (PDD) is adding to the miseries of the common people by resorting to

unscheduled power curtailments during peak hours of the day.

The situation in far flung and remote areas is also annoying as the unscheduled power cuts have made life miserable for the residents.

Inhabitants of different areas told KNS that they are being made to pay tariff on time but power is not supplied according to the schedule. “Power cuts happen almost every now and then and at times electricity goes off for days together,” they added.

Several prominent trader organizations have also expressed deep concern over the unscheduled power cuts leading to business losses.

Production houses and small scale industries association with business units located in different areas have also raised their concerns urging the PDD to ensure uninterrupted power supply to them to avoid losses.

However officials in power development department maintained that during peak hours when the demand increases the PDD is left with no other option but to resort to curtailment as per the roaster prepared by the department.

Meanwhile protests erupted in Bemina,Qamerwari,Karlpora,Padashai bagh on Tuesday over continued breakdown of electricity.  

Residents of these areas complained that the erratic power supply not only compounds the problems of common people, but also causes hardships to students preparing for various examinations. “We even face erratic power cuts during the time when we have to receive electricity according to PDD schedule,” said Mohmmad Aslam of Firdous colony Bemina. 

“PDD has failed to provide electricity as per schedule. The more hydroelectric power projects being set up, the more electricity shortage we face,” he added. The residents appealed to the government to ensure uninterrupted power supply.

Reports of protests were also received from other areas including,  Palpora,Haba Kadal,Batmaloo. According to the protestors, they area are suffering due to frequent cuts of power supply and has been plunged into darkness. 

‘Power position grim’

Expressing serious concern over the precarious power situation in Kashmir Valley, CPI (M) State Secretary Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami has said it seems the administration is hell-bent upon to keep the people of Jammu and Kashmir into sustained darkness.

In a statement issued today, the CPI (M) leader said that people living in rural and far flung areas are without electricity and even areas receiving erratic power supply are for the most of the time facing numerous problems on account of low voltage compelling people to arrange alternative sources of illumination during the hours, they receive electricity. He said that the same situation is being repeated during every winter soon after the offices move to Jammu and the people of the Valley are left helpless being devoid of basic amenities, especially the power and essential commodities.

“There is no power schedule being followed on ground and even metered areas are facing long and unscheduled power cuts much to the annoyance of public,” he said, adding that transmission and distribution system has also deteriorated thereby depriving the consumers of vital electricity facility. The dilapidated LT network especially in rural areas is posing a grave threat to the life and property of the common man, he stressed.

He blamed the faulty polices of PDD for the damages of electricity transformers. “The department has never bothered to install electricity transformers proportionate to the growing population which could have prevented the damages to a large extent. And unfortunately where ever these transformers are required, the administration is creating hurdles in installation, despite the feasibility reports dashed by the department and money earmarked by the concerned legislators.

Power Development Department (PDD) has failed to create a buffer stock of electricity transformers at Divisional level to address the situation surfaced due to damaged transformers. The step-down transformers, installed in every neighborhood develop technical snags and the consumers are left helpless in darkness and freezing cold till the process of lifting, repairing and re-installing a faulty transformer is completed in months together.

The CPI (M) leader asked the govt to arrange alternate sources of energy to provide regular power supply to the people across the state. The only solution to overcome the energy crisis was a sustainable and well conceived energy policy and encouraging establishment of mini and micro hydel projects under state sector and PPP.

In order to meet the challenges of winter vagaries, the higher ups in the administration need to ensure a better coordination between different departments especially those providing essential services. “Though an early weather warning system is in place but in absence of the required resources mobilization, weather alerts do not serve any purpose,” he remarked further. 

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