Tower Restoration Yet To Pick Up
SRINAGAR- Despite official claims to the contrary, there was no perceptible improvement in valley's power supply. Even after making, three units of the Pampore gas turbine operational since yesterday, the net availability of electricity to the consumers averaged a little lover one and a half hour in 21 hours. Something unprecedented, indeed.
Official sources told Kashmir Observer the valley had been divided into 18 groups to whom electricity was being provided for one hour in every 18 hours by rotation. Following the availability of another 60 mw of power from the three units of gas turbine, a 'generous' relief of two hours in given five days. This works out to a total of 8.30 hours power supply in 120 hours.
With the power minister, S S Slathia's claim of "suspected militants' having blasted three transmission towers in Banihal area emphatically blasted even by official circles, people have blamed the government of engineering the total breakdown to deprive the valley of even the bare minimum of power during winter months to the advantage of warmer Jammu.
According to reports, even the divisional commissioner, Khursheed Ahmad Ganai, did not rule out the involvement of some contractors and power development department (PDD) officials in the blasting of the transmission towers. Nothing could be more damning for the power minister who has allegedly been employing circumlocution and subterfuge to the hilt to escape the blame for the valley's worst ever power crisis.
Meanwhile, according to CNS, the work on restoration of the transmission towers at Sher Bibi and Bonakot had not picked up yet A group of officials from the power grid corporation of India (PGCI) and the power development department (PDD) besides some labourers are reported to be camping at the two sites without taking up any actual work. The official claims of the work going on ‘war footing’ have proved to be a hoax, the report said.
Rajinder Singh reports from Jammu: Even the government promised improvement by Saturday with the temporary restoration of 220-KV tower, the power minister, S S Slathia told Kashmir Observer the valley would have to face power crisis for another week. He said resto-1 ration work was going on 'war footing' but it would take about two month. However, temporary restoration will be completed by February 27. He said 370 mw of power not being supplied to the valley at present was being saved with effect from February 17.
(Kashmir Observer, 26 February, 2001)
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