Letter To Editor | Power Theft – Who’s Responsible?

Representational Photo

WITH the potential to generate 20,000 megawatts of hydropower, Kashmir is still in darkness. Being the chief producer of electricity in India, Kashmir should have the least electricity crisis but that is far from the ground reality. The valley faces power cuts throughout the year but during winter it becomes very hard to live with electricity for several days.

Electricity, in the 21st century, is not a luxury rather a necessity, like air and water. But in Kashmir, even the capital city of Srinagar faces a lot of power cuts. And even when electricity is available the voltage is so low that a bulb doesn’t work properly, let alone other heavy electrical appliances.

With such circumstances, people are left with no option but to go through unethical and illegal means like electricity theft. The PDD department needs to understand the necessity and provide electricity accordingly. That’s the only solution to curb power thefts. Also, transformers burn at least every five days during winter, leaving people suffering for days.

The price people pay for electricity is unfair because first of all rates are higher than the supply and secondly, electricity should be cheap because it is generated domestically. Why would anyone pay such a huge amount for a bare minimum? If the government had to purchase electricity from outside then it was somewhat justified.

One of the reasons for electricity theft is that many people don’t consider it as theft because they feel it’s their own as it is produced in the valley. It could be stopped only when the population is made aware that this is theft as most of the population doesn’t consider it as theft. The clergy delivering Friday sermons should educate people regarding the theft.

The PDD should carry regular checks to make sure employees are not indulging in corruption and doing their work with proper ethics. Whenever any field staff member is caught taking bribes and helping the public in thefts, strict action should be taken against them.

While government agencies should set an example by taking strong action against the field staff and public involved in the wrongdoing, at the same time PDD should update their infrastructure and make sure that the public is getting sufficient amounts of electricity during winters, so that they won’t resort to theft.

Tabia Masoodi

Srinagar

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