Rural areas badly affected; City consumers question installation of smart meters, promises of 24 hr electricity; No unscheduled power cuts shall be tolerated: Pr Secy to KPDCL
Srinagar, Nov 20: The consumers across Kashmir have been complaining of a worse power scenario for the past couple of weeks, stating that it is for the first time that the power cuts with such intensity are being witnessed.
The news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), received phone calls from the consumers, hailing from different parts of Kashmir, saying that the power schedule is not being adhered to, thus pushing them to the wall.
“We are being forced to reel under darkness. The power cuts are being mostly witnessed in morning and evening hours. There seems no schedule in place as the electricity is being snatched after every hour,” a consumer from Srinagar’s Old City area, said, adding that such a situation is being witnessed at a time when the government has come up with the smart meters and promised adequate electricity to the people.
“We have never seen such a worse power scenario as the power cuts have increased to a large extent,” another consumer from Chattabal area of Srinagar said.
Consumers from many areas of Srinagar outskirts said that they have also accused the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) of ignoring their plights, saying that in the bone-chilling cold, the electricity is playing hide and seek, thus adding to the miseries of the people. “Pandrethan, Zafran Colony, Achanambal, Natipora and other areas were the first to see installation of smart meters with the promise that consumers will get 24 hr power supply. What happened to those promises? What is the fun of installing smart meters,” said Adil Rashid, a resident of Natipora.
Rural areas of Kashmir are badly affected by the power shortage. In Kangan, Prang, Wussan, Chinnar, Kijpora, Arahama, Anderwan, Cherwan, Bonibagh, Thune, Ganiwan, Gund, Rayil,Kullan and Gagangeer areas of Ganderbal district, similar situation is being witnessed while the residents have demanded immediate redressal of their grievances.
In South Kashmir’s Kulgam and Anantnag districts, the consumers have complained that the electricity is being supplied for merely hours.
In north Kashmir’s Bandipora, Kupwara and Baramulla districts, the consumers have complained that the electricity continues to play hide and seek throughout the day.
Nonetheless, the government has issued strict directions to KPDCL, saying that no unscheduled power cuts shall be tolerated.
While chairing a meeting, Principal Secretary, Power Development Department (PDD), H. Rajesh Prasad reviewed the power supply position in J&K, particularly in Kashmir valley amid decreasing temperatures, during a meeting held with the Managing Directors of Corporations and all Chief Engineers and senior officers of the department.
During the review, it was informed that a curtailment schedule has been prepared based on the power availability in the region.
Accordingly, the Principal Secretary asked the engineers to strictly follow the schedule, emphasizing that no unscheduled power cuts shall be tolerated. He also stressed that under no circumstances should J&K engage in overdrawal of power, which is important not only to stay within the budget but also to uphold grid discipline and prevent unwarranted disruptions in power supply.
It was further highlighted that sufficient infrastructure has been created in recent years to improve the quality of power supply in the region. Additionally, J&K has availed loans under various Government of India schemes such as Atmanirbhar Bharat and LPS Rules, whereby all outstanding dues of power generators accumulated over the years have been cleared. However, under the schemes the J&K has committed to the GoI that the losses shall be reduced to minimum to ensure the viability of the sector.
In line with the commitment to reduce the losses, the Principal Secretary issued explicit instructions to the engineers to put an all-out effort to eradicate the menace of power pilferage by adopting stringent enforcement measures.
He asked to maintain regular power supply in areas where people are regularly paying for their consumption, whereas in high loss areas, measures like metering and AB cabling be taken on priority.
Principal Secretary noted with deep concern that despite dispatching more energy to the valley during this year compared to previous year, there has not been much improvement in the revenue realization. As such, he directed the concerned officers to ensure that the bills are timely generated and distributed to the consumers.
He also directed that the power outages be attended promptly and faults be cleared with minimum downtime particularly the damaged Distribution Transformers (DT) be replaced in the shortest possible time to avoid any inconvenience to people.
In conclusion, the Principal Secretary reaffirmed the government’s unwavering commitment towards stability and growth of the power sector in Jammu and Kashmir. The anticipated implementation of these directives is poised not only to improve the reliability of power supply but also to fortify the financial health of the power sector, ensuring a resilient and responsive energy infrastructure for the people of the region.