Pesky Power cuts spark protests

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SRINAGAR: Agitated over the unscheduled power cuts, the protest demonstrations against the government and its Power Development Department (PDD) continued in numerous localities across Kashmir on Tueaday.

According to reports  people carrying placards in their hands at some places and assembled at Qamarwari, Narwara, Eidgah, Bemina, Budgam, Pulwama and in north Kashmir and raised slogans against the PDD holding it responsible for inconvenience on account of unscheduled cuts. 

Reports said that early morning hundreds of residents of Hari Parigam, Bucchoo, Kaigam, Chachkoot converged at Awantipora Chowk, where they staged demonstrations against the PDD. The protesters said they were reeling under complete darkness from last 15 days due to unavailability of electricity. The protesters also blocked Srinagar-Jammu national highway to draw the attention of the officials.

The blockade caused a massive traffic jam for several hours and that stretched from Kaigam to Pujgund. Later, the protesters dispersed peacefully after the officials assured to restore power facility at the earliest.

“For last 15 days, we’re without electricity. The unavailability of electricity also affects the water supply to the villages. In harsh winters, we have to fetch water from streams. We’re facing a lot of inconvenience,” Ghulam Rasool, a protester said. He urged the Chief Minister to upgrade the receiving situation so that the power woes end and the people heave a sigh of relief. 

“People are made to suffer on account of the power cuts imposed by department without any prior information. Due to power cuts especially during late evening and night hours, our children cannot concentrate on their studies,” Qamarwari resident Shafat Ahmad said.

“The students go to tuitions in day time. It is only during evening that they get time to study but due to power cuts they are not able to do so”, he added while demanding from the PDD to ensure regular power supply, particularly during evening and night.

Another protester said that every family cannot afford inverters or other related items and it is only regular supply of electricity which can be helpful to us. “Power cuts especially late evening cuts also encourage anti-social and criminal elements. High claims of ensuring regular supply in metered areas are nowhere visible on ground,” he said.

Tarigami concerned over electricity crisis 

Expressing serious concern over the precarious power situation in Kashmir, CPI (M) State Secretary Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami today said it seems the administration has virtually decided to keep the people of Jammu and Kashmir into darkness.

In a statement issued here the CPI (M) leader remarked that the people in cities and towns are provided with low voltage and erratic power supplies, the people living in rural and far flung areas are without electricity that too at a time when the power supplies are needed more to cope-up with the chilly winter.

“As the whole valley is face to face with a grim electricity scenario, Kulgam district seems to be at the receiving end of this power crisis. There is almost no electricity in Kulgam town and its rural areas. Some rural areas of this district receiving erratic power supply are for the most of the time facing numerous problems on account of low voltage and the people are compelled to arrange alternative sources of illumination during the hours, they receive electricity,” Tarigami remarked.

The CPI (M) leader said it is unfortunate 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.

He said that no power schedule is being followed on ground and even metered areas are facing long and unscheduled power cuts much to the annoyance of public.  “The 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,” Tarigami said, while urging the government to arrange alternate sources of energy to provide regular power supply to the people across the state.

He said the administration needs to ensure a better coordination between different departments especially those providing essential services.

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