PDD resorting to long, unscheduled power cuts; not following its curtailment schedule: Locals
The Power Development Department (PDD) has miserably failed to adhere its own power curtailment schedule in Valley announced in last week of November.
According to PDD power schedule, non-metered areas would witness eight hours power cuts while metered areas have to bear four and a half hour power curtailment a day.
However, people across the Valley complain that PDD is resorting to frequent and lengthy power cuts.
"We are living in a metered area and are supposed to have four and a half hour power curtailment in a day as per PDD schedule. But we hardly see any light all day," said Farooq Ahmad a resident of Bal Garden area of Karan Nagar.
According to PDD curtailment schedule, the power cuts have been divided into four shifts - morning, day, evening and night curtailment.
Saqlain Hyder from Chattabal, whose area also comes under metered area, also complained about lack of electricity.
"This power schedule is nothing but a joke. It is mere eye-wash to fool people," he lamented.
The non-metered areas that include old city and uptown area are also facing length and unscheduled power cuts.
The residents of Pantha Chowk, Zewan, Indira Nagar, Chanapora, Rainawari, Nowhatta, Rajouri Kadal, Safa Kadal, Soura, etc complained that are facing longer power cuts.
They accused PDD of not following their own schedule.
They alleged that despite raising the monthly fee in non-metered areas, the power supply continues to be disruptive.
"We are witnessing upto 12 hour power cuts in a day. As per PDD schedule, it was supposed to be eight hours only," said Jan Mohammad, a resident of Safa Kadal.
Zahoor Ahmad, a resident of Pantha Chowk said their area is facing three hours power cuts after ever three hours. “And even during three hours when electricity is supplied, PDD resorts to frequent cuts”.
The situation is even worse in rural areas where residents have to face up to 14-hour power cuts in a day.
Residents of Kalantra, Kreeri, Wagoora, Chandoosa, Shirpora, of Kandi Baramulla said they are facing erratic power supply.
"We are literally living in a dark age. It is only due to Inverters that we are managing things in this cold," said Mohammad Suhail, a resident of Kalantra.
He also complained about shortage of PDD staff in the area.
"God forbid if the transformer gets damaged then we have to pay from our own pockets to get it repaired. And still it takes weeks and at times months to get it fixed," he said.
The situation is no different in Pattan, Yadipora Hyderbeigh, Palhallan, Tilgam, Wanigam, Chanderhama, Khimyar and Hamray, Tapper, where people accused PDD of resorting to frequent power cuts.
Athar Jammeel Yattoo, a resident of Yadipora Hyderbeigh said they are getting 2-3 hours of power supply instead of scheduled 16 hours.
"Power Department is not following any proper schedule," Yattoo said.
The residents of south Kashmir has also similar story to narrate.
The locals in Khrew accused authorities of breaking their promise of providing twenty-four seven power supply.
"Being an industrial area, we were promised to get a consistent power supply, but it proved to be a hoax," a local Shoib Ahmad said.
Javed Sofi of Anantnag accused PDD of resorting to unscheduled power curtailments in the town.
"There is no accountability. These people (PDD) manipulate the schedule as per their own assessment," he said.
The shortage of transformers and poles has added to the burden on the government which is struggling to meet the demand of electricity for the winter season.
As per official figures, around 348 transformers are needed in eight districts that include Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Kupwara and Baramulla.
Similarly, around 5650 poles are required in these eight districts.
Talking to Rising Kashmir, Chief Engineer PDD Aijaz Ahmad Dar said the department is doing its best to adhere to the prescribed power schedule.
"I know that at some places, the power schedule varies. But we are working on it," he said.
Dar said the damage to Alesteng transmission line due to November snowfall has been a major disappointment for the department.
“It could have provided additional 400 MGWs to meet requirements. It would have given us a big cushion to meet the requirements this winter. But unfortunately some of the towers got damaged in the last snowfall," he said.