Electricity plays hike and seek in Industrial estates
Unit holders incur losses worth lakhs of rupees
Srinagar, May 12: Government claims on promoting industry not withstanding, most of the industrial estates in the Valley are facing unscheduled power cuts resulting in losses worth lakhs of rupees to the unit holders.
Many unit holders Greater Kashmir talked to said they were facing frequent and long power curtailments, sometimes running for two or more hours at a stretch, a day.
“We have to bear with eight to ten power cuts till 6 PM every day,” said Muhammad Yousuf Tichoo, president Ganderbal IE, adding that they were incurring huge losses on this count.
“Every day, we have to face power cuts for two hours or so during peak working hours, due to which we are facing huge problems,” seconded Syed Fazal, president Bagh-i-Ali Mardan Khan IE.
“In spite of increase in power tariff and installation of meters, we don’t understand why we are being met out with such a treatment,” he complained.
President Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir, Shakeel Qalander, said the industrial load in the Valley was only 93 MWs as compared to 300 MWs in Jammu.
“In Kashmir out of 93 MWs only 10 to 15 per cent load is connected to the units established in organized industrial estates, as compared to more than 80 per cent of the load connected to the units established in organized industrial estates in Jammu.
“There is no power curtailment in Jammu despite,” he said.
“It is quite unfortunate that the government is unable to provide such a meagre quantity of power supply to the industrial units, despite its tall claims to the contrary,” he said.
The FCIK has also taken up the issue with the Development Commissioner, Power expressing serious concern over the issue.
The unit holders said there was no fixed timing for the power cuts, which was also a matter of concern for them. “If PDD is presently having shortage of power, let them go for power curtailment during peak hours,” said Muhammad Yousuf Techoo, president Industrial Estate Ganderbal.
The unit holders said the unscheduled and sudden power breaks not only cost their production activity, but also affected their machinery particularly in the segments of plastics and other such line productions.
“Many of our machines require some time after they are switched on to get ready to work/start. But when there is unscheduled cut, they get switched off and once the supply is restored it takes again a lot of time for them to get ready for working,” the unit holders said.
President Zainakote IE, Shah Jahan Khan said at their estate, power was not only used for running machines, but the whole mechanism of water and telephone run on it.
“We have learnt from the officials at Zainakote telephone exchange that the battery back-up at the exchange had exhausted, on which not even a generator could be started to restore the power supply,” he said.
With the result, he said, the moment power supply was stopped, mobile towers and landlines in the estate stopped working. “So every day we have to remain without even telephones for a few hours, when there is a power cut.”
Besides, he said, the water supply at Zainakote was directly related to power, since water was supplied from the pumps run on electricity. “And when there is no power supply, the taps in the estate run dry.”
The unit holders said they had time and again raised the issue with the concerned officials, who, they said, came up with different “excuses.”
“There is no coordination among the chief engineers of different wings of PDD who only pass buck when we go with complaint,” said Syed Afaq Qadri, managing director, Qadri Group of Industries.
The unit holders said their productivity was badly affected due to sudden power cuts. “Till our productivity is not increased, how could the government expect economic development in the state?” he asked.
“Unfortunately the power, despite being a vital and crucial sector does not have a separate minister in our state. This department is being looked after by chief minister who remains pre-occupied with other jobs. So the officials below take undue advantage of this situation,” he said, adding that the chief minister should give utmost importance to this sector and take immediate steps to address “our problems”.
Chief Engineer, PDD, Gul Ayaz said this could be an isolated incident for a couple of days, but could not be termed as a continuous process.
“Due to technical constraints, it happens sometimes. May be on a particular day,” he said.
However, he admitted power interruptions might have been frequent because of certain incapacitation on the transmission lines, “when we have to stop the power supply for sometime, otherwise it is not a routine and we can not generalize this thing,” he said.
Development Commissioner Power, Asgar Ali Majaz when contacted said:
To mention the J&K State Electricity Regulatory Commission, while approving tariff for various categories of consumers for the current year has directed the state Power Development Department to provide regular power supply to the industrial units in the state. “In case of certain exigencies the PDD can cut the power supply only during the peak hours,” it has said.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 12 May 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 12 May 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 13 May 2010 00:00:00 IST
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Unit holders incur losses worth lakhs of rupees
Srinagar, May 12: Government claims on promoting industry not withstanding, most of the industrial estates in the Valley are facing unscheduled power cuts resulting in losses worth lakhs of rupees to the More