Political Rumbling Over Electric Transformer Divides PDP’s Pulwama Legislators

Srinagar: An electric transformer in southern Kashmir’s Pulwama district has exposed a rift within ruling PDP legislators, who are attempting to pitch the people in their respective assembly segments against the other.

Ruling PDP MLA Tral Mushatq Shah and MLA Pulwama Khalil Bandh, the former has a support of a minister, are involved in a tussle against each other on an electric transformer and want it to be installed in the Power Receiving Stations for their respective assembly segments of Tral and Pulwama.

Tussle has been going on from the last two weeks when the Power Development Department sanctioned and installed a 10 MVA transformer at receiving station at Awantipora. The 6.3 MVA that was replaced by the new transformer was allotted to receiving station Narwa in Pulwama assembly segment.

The proposal for upgrading the Narwa receiving station was agreed upon by the PDD in 2012 after the locals pursued the issue with the successive governments and PDD for years. Since then the issue was pending due to political interference from ruling legislators.

PDD completed all official formalities and issued an order for the installation of 6.3 KVA at Narwa. But MLA Tral Shah interfered and started pressurizing the PDD officials, asking them not to shift the transformer to the Narwa receiving station.

Shah used the influence of a minister in the PDP government to pressurize the PDD. The issue was recently discussed in the Board meeting held in Pulwama for the district where Shah vociferously demanded that the transformer be installed at Checkoot. However, the MLA Pulwama “remained silent” in the Board meeting when the issue was discussed, sources, present in the meeting, said.

Since receiving station Narwa feeds electricity to scores of villages in Pulwama, many village elders went to Chersoo to receive and bring the transformer to Narwa. But another group arrived there to take the transformer. Sensing that the other groups might squabble with them, Pulwama group left the place and appealed the PDD and MLA concerned to bring and install the transformer for Narwa receiving station.

“We did not want to fight with each other and then the legislators will take political advantage out of our fight. We have left the issue up to them,” the residents in Pulwama said.

The residents of Pulwama have been assured by the chief engineer PDD that the transformer would be installed at Narwa receiving station.

In the recent Board meeting for Pulwama district, sources, who were present in the meeting, said that Shah raised the issue of shifting the transformer to Chechkoot Receiving Station that feeds electricity to some areas of Tral assembly segment, and his demand was supported by a ruling party minister. The sources said that MLA Pulwama remained silent when the issue was discussed.

Official sources in PDD said that the old transformer 6.3 MVA is “officially proposed for Narwa.”

“MLA Tral is pressurized the PDD officials to modify the order. But the PDD officials do not want to get into the foul play of the legislator,” a source in PDD said.

MLA Pulwama Khalil Bandh has assured the people of his constituency that the transformer will be installed at Narwa. But the residents are “angry with him for his silence in the issue”.

However, due to the infighting between the two legislators consumers in Pulwama assembly segment are deprived of electricity.

“Narwa receiving station is overloaded and consumers face power as the transformer needs upgradation. When the issue was almost resolved, MLA Tral created undue interference, and our legislator concerned is watching as mute spectator,” said a resident in Narwa.

MLA Pulwama, Khalil Bandh told KNS that the transformer has been officially sanctioned and allotted for Narwa receiving station.

“Interference of any MLA or minister is immaterial. The transformer is the right of the Pulwama residents as they have been pursuing it for years, and it will be installed at Narwa receiving station,” Bandh told KNS.

However, the same 6.3 MVA transformer has now been allotted to Chechkoot as per the decision taken in the recent Board meeting, official sources said, depriving Pulwama residents of their right. (KNS)

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