Srinagar- The administration in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal on Saturday imposed a blanket ban on the sale, storage and use of electric appliances during winters, evoking sharp criticism from the political parties.
Invoking orders under Section 144 CrPC OF 1973, the Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal Shyambir imposed blanket ban on the storage, sale, possession and use of heavy heating appliances like blowers, heaters, radiators, etc to avoid any collateral damages to electric supply.
“It has been apprehended that non-judicious use of electric appliances such as blowers, heaters, radiators, etc may cause damages to transmission lines due to heavy load resulting in disturbance in the hassle-free power supply,” the order reads.
In view of the fast-approaching winter season and to avoid collateral damage to the electricity supply due to heavy load on the transmission system by use of heavy heating appliances which are not permissible… the District Administration Ganderbal imposes a blanket ban on the sale, possession, storage and use of such electric appliances in the district, the order further reads.
According to the order, by using the above-mentioned electric appliances there is every apprehension of short circuits which ultimately results in fire incidents during the winter season which causes loss of life and property.
The DM Ganderbal said that in order to provide hassle-free electric supply to consumers as well as government offices and hospitals and to avoid unscheduled power cuts which cause inconvenience to the general public and disruption of services of emergent nature, particularly patient care, a blanket ban has been imposed on these appliances with immediate effect.
“Any violation of this order shall attract punitive action as warranted under relevant laws,” Shyambir warned.
The order evoked sharp reaction from politicians, including the former J&K Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, who termed it “draconian”
Sharing a copy of the order on Twitter, National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah urged Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to have the “draconian order” withdrawn.
“This is a ridiculous order. How can the administration impose a blanket ban on sale, usage and even storage of electrical heaters? Is the DC’s heating/cooling AC covered under this Sec 144 ban? Will he have it removed from his office/home? Are people supposed to freeze to death,” Abdullah asked.
“Violation of Sec 144 orders result in arrest. Is this heartless administration going to arrest parents who want to save their children from freezing to death? Or children who want to protect aged parents from the cold? @OfficeOfLGJandK must have this draconian order withdrawn,” he said.
PDP spokesperson Mohit Bhan asked if such orders are issued anywhere in the country’s summer belt.
“Do we issue such orders anywhere in the summer belt of the country to not use Air Conditioners during peak summers and make it a criminal offence if not obeyed. It’s evident someone who doesn’t understand the landscape & geography of the place can only issue such orders,” he tweeted.
In a tweet, senior PDP leader and former minister Naeem Akhtar said, “Dear fellow citizens, this is where Kashmir is in the 5th year of Amrit Kaal. Night temperature is below freezing point and use of heaters has been criminalised. We have 6 months of snow, rain and frost ahead of us. Are we going to be frozen to death?”
National spokesperson of TMC Saket Gokhale termed the order “shocking and inhuman”.
“The DM of Ganderbal (a non-Kashmiri) in J&K has ordered a blanket ban on use & possession of heaters in homes. The temperature in Ganderbal right now is 10 degrees in the day & 2 degrees at night. Are you running a penal colony, @dcganderbal,” he asked.
“I think DC Ganderbal should be terminated with immediate effect for this irresponsible and potentially dangerous order,” a Twitter user, Tariq Tramboo, said.
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