The Kashmir Valley is facing drastic power cuts ahead of the shifting of the government offices to winter capital Jammu as part of the Dogra-era practice of Durbar Move.
The Power Development Department (PDD) has resorted to unscheduled power outages even in autumn when cuts would usually start from harsh winter months. In most parts of the Valley, power woes are causing immense inconvenience to the general public.
Consumers from many areas have complained that they face unscheduled power outages thrice a day. According to the residents of Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir valley, they are facing prolonged power curtailments without any proper schedule.
Residents from several areas of North Kashmir likewise said that that electricity goes off for the whole day and most of the cuts are permanent in the evening.
The residents said their residential localities in northern and southern parts of Kashmir have plunged into darkness owing to the erratic power supply. They said that power shortage and cuts are a cause of “great concern in our areas.”
Manzoor Ahmad Magrey, a local resident of Hajin, said that the residents have decided not to pay fee to PDD “if they failed to supply power supply as per schedule.” “We urge authorities to come up with winter power schedule so that consumers could brace up for cuts,” he said. “Even in the evenings, the electriCity plays truant here. We have approached government several times to provide us normal supply, but rather than improving supply, it has deteriorated,” residents of northern town of Kashmir said.
Many students said that they couldn’t prepare for exams because of power cuts. “We can’t study properly as electriCity goes off frequently,”said Asim Ahmad, a student.
“There is no power schedule. Sometimes power supply remains continues only for 2 to 3 hours in evening and at several times the cuts are more irregular. With the start of winter season peoples’ miseries have piled up,” he added.
In protest to the cuts, the residents of north Kashmir township blocked Hajin-Srinagar road to protest erratic power supply and unscheduled power cuts.
The protesters, mostly women, held a sit-in near Higher Secondary school Hajin and disrupted traffic movement on the road for several hours. The protesters were shouting slogans against PDD department and demanded electriCity as per schedule in their area.
Later, a police party led by Station House Officer Hajin, Muneeb- ul- Islam, reached the spot and pacified the protesters to take up the issue with the concerned authorities. Following assurances people called off the protest.
PDD Asked To Improve Power Supply In Winter
State government Monday directed the Power Development Department (PDD) to ensure that there was no problem to the consumers in Kashmir as well as the Jammu during winters by way of power outages.
Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam reminded the PDD that there are “clear instructions from the Governor that the consumers shouldn’t be put to any inconvenience because of unscheduled power cuts during the winters. He said the Governor is very particular about ensuring electriCity supply in view of the examinations of the students beginning this month.
Referring to the ongoing strike by a section of the PDD employees, Chief Secretary said the grievances of the employees can be discussed at the appropriate forum for rational resolution and it should not at the “same time result in putting people to unnecessary trouble because of disruption of electriCity supply especially during examinations.”
“While the government is open to discuss the issues of the striking employees, there should be no inconvenience to the people at any cost,” he said.
Chief Secretary asked the PDD authorities to monitor the power supply regularly and ensure uninterrupted supply to the people during the scheduled hours.
He said a buffer of transformers should be created across Kashmir to replace the damaged ones at the earliest.