- People aghast as PDD resorts to over 15-hour power cuts
- No respite in power outages despite protests
Kashmir is reeling under power crisis as Power Development Department (PDD) is resorting to frequent power cuts at a time when the valley is in the middle of intense cold spell with night temperature falling many degrees below freezing point.
The power cuts have thrown life out of gear across the Valley and people complain that PDD is resorting to more than 15-hour power cuts in a day. None of the area is spare of the power cuts and even PDD is resorting to power outages in metered areas.
People at many places in Ganderbal, Baramulla, Kupwara, Srinagar, Budgam, Anantnag and Kulgam have taken to roads against the frequent cuts. However, despite their protests, the situation has not improved.
The outages have become a major concern for the people. Both the towns and villages are facing the crises.
The cuts are regular in the morning and evening hours in both the metered and unmetered areas.
People complain that authorities are not sticking to any power schedule and violating their own load shedding program.
“Now, PDD does not follow any power curtailment schedule. They resort to power cuts as per their likings and whims. Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is not intervening despite nearly daily anti-PDD protests in the Valley,” said a group of residents of uptown Srinagar.
The residents of Duderhama, Manigam, Kangan, Gund, Ganiwan and Thune in Ganderbal district complained that they are facing tough time due to power cuts.
They said due to the outages, education of children has been badly hit while trade and business has been severely affected.
“Despite paying electricity bills on time, PDD has failed to ensure adequate power supply”, said a businessman of Ganderbal, Javaid Ahmad.
He said owing to regular power cuts, their business has suffered huge losses. “If the power cuts continue, we will discontinue paying bills.”
The situation is no different in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, where both rural and urbal areas are facing frequent power cuts.
According to locals, Kokernag, Dooru, Verinag, Achabal, Daanter, Chee, Monghal, Dabrun and Dialgam have been the worst affected by the power crisis.
The industrial production in the district has declined as the units have remained shut due to power outages.
In Kulgam, people stage near daily protests against PDD. The residents of DH Pora, Yaripora, Bugam, Czawalgam, Nillow and Pumbai have been taking to streets daily to protest against the PDD and demand adequate supply of electricity.
The residents and traders of border district of Kupwara also complain of unscheduled power cuts.
The residents, traders, and transporters of Kupwara including that of Rajwar and Chotipora, Langate are miffed over power cuts and have staged many anti-PDD demonstrations.
The residents of Lolab including Khurhama, Warnow, Kuligam, Saiwan and other adjoining areas complain that they are facing power cuts even for 22-hours a day.
“Power supply in rural and urban areas remains affected for hours. The PDD is even resorting to frequent power cuts in the metered areas,” said a Lolab resident, Mohsin Nabi Var.
Unscheduled and long hours of power cuts have also become frequent in Tangmarg in Baramulla district.
Residents of villages of Towkal Pora, Hariwatnoo, Hardu Madam and Rawath Pora and other adjacent areas allege that erratic power cuts have made their lives miserable.
Residents of Kandi Baramulla, Wagoora, Pattan, Kanispora, Khairgam, Chanderseer and other adjacent villages of non-metered areas also complained that PDD has completely failed to provide electricity to them.
Dozens of villages in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district are also reeling under darkness due to frequent damage to transformers and power outages.
Residents of Lelhara, Begumbagh, Ratnipora, Bangund, Qamrazipora, Murran and other villages complained that they have been without power supply from last many days.
“We shifted the transformer to the workshop on December 8 but it is yet to be repaired,” said Mohammad Ayoub, a resident of Begumbagh, He said a 63 KV transformer has been installed for 65 families and due to overloading, the area suffers frequent damages.
Officials however attribute the unscheduled power cuts to the increase in the normal agreement load.
Chief Engineer, PDD, Bashir Ahmad, said the areas are facing additional power cuts due to heavy load on power infrastructure.
“The power cuts in some areas are upto 12 hours,” he said.