NORTH, SOUTH REEL UNDER DARKNESS

Students Worst Hit In Exam Days

ALTAF BABA/KHALID GUL

Baramulla/Islamabad, Nov 12: Resentment against erratic power supply is brewing among people in entire Kashmir valley. The unscheduled power cuts have not only been reported from the non-metered areas, but the metered areas too are facing frequent power cuts especially during the peak hours.
“Our area is reeling under darkness most of the times though the area is metered for several years now,” said Imtiyaz Ahmmad Sheikh of Noor Bagh Baramulla in north Kashmir.
The residents of non-metered areas are facing the worst frequent power cuts besides the regular power curtailment of some eight hours a day. The residents of these non-metered areas told Greater Kashmir that unscheduled power cuts has made their life hell.
“Besides twice a weak of power curtailment, our area faces eight hours power cut every day. The unscheduled power cuts have badly affected the studies of our wards who find it difficult to concentrate in the absence of electricity,” said Suhail Ahmad of old town Baramulla.
Reports from different parts of the Baramulla district also depict the dismal picture of power supply. The residents of Delina, Pattan, Rafiabad lashed out at the government for its failure to provide scheduled power supply. Executive Engineer PDD Baramulla, Irshad Ahmad, said the power cut was due to the reduction of 500 MW from the northern grid.
“With the supply from the northern grid dropping by 500 MW, the overall power supply has been affected. Once things will improve, the power cuts will be reduced,” he said.
The south Kashmir district of Islamabad (Anantnag) has been reeling under darkness with long and unscheduled power cuts becoming the order of the day. While Power Development Department (PDD) authorities attribute the erratic power supply to the overloading and pilferage, the residents blame the department for the crisis.
Besides Islamabad, Mattan and Bijbihara towns, scores of adjoining villages including Aishmuqam, Kokernag, Achabal, Shangus, Dooru and Pahalgam are facing tremendous scarcity of power supply even as the residents hold protest demonstrations regularly to press their demand for proper electricity.
The examination season is on and the student community remains the worst hit.
Abdul Hameed of Vailoo village, who was part of the group that held protest demonstration against the erratic power supply a few days back,was all fire against the PDD for failing to provide a regular power supply.
He says his two sons and a daughter are appearing in examinations and with no electricity their preparation is suffering while the PDD is least concerned.
The residents of Islamabad, Mattan and Bijbehara townships alleged that despite the areas being fully metered, there is no improvement in the electricity supply.
“Six years back when the government installed meters in the town they assured us of uninterrupted supply, but unfortunately they are unable to provide electricity even for six hours a day,” complained the residents.
Despite increase in power tariff there is no visible improvement in power scenario.
The villages of the district including Kokernag, Pahalgam, Aishmuqam, Verinag and Dooru are the worst hit. The villagers say that most of the time the areas remain without power supply for days together.
“Entire village is registered and each consumer pays regular tariff. Still we receive negligible electricity. PDD authorities are forcing us to come on roads,” said Mushtaq Ahmad of Kokernag.
In Aishmuqam, a school teacher is furious about the erratic power supply in his village.
“We normally get electricity once a week and that too with very low voltage. Our ministers and bureaucrats live in posh colonies where they get special power supply. How can they understand our problem of living in darkness,” he said.
He added that the government should initiate measures like enhancing monthly power tariff and speeding up the registration process to ensure smooth power supply in the villages.
“If people are not registering their connections or are not paying the bills, who is responsible? It is PDD authorities, not the common people. Authorities should initiate strict measures to check these issues,” said Abdul Gaffar of Srigufwara village.
However, Assistant Executive Engineer PDD, Islamabad (Anantnag), Nazir Ahmad said the power condition in the un-metered areas would not improve in the district unless people do not shun the process of overloading.
“We have more overloading this year. Besides, 50 per cent of the connections are not registered. But still people resort to overloading and pilferage. In such circumstances how can the power supply improve,” Nazir added.
Regarding the metered areas, Nazir however said that the situation was not so bad but he attributed the power cuts to pilferage.
“With the fall of dusk people indulge in power theft which is impossible for us to stop due to shortage of manpower in our department. If they will continue illegal use of electricity then there is no solution to this problem,” Nazir added.
He, however assured that with the coming up of grid station in Mir Bazar, the power scenario in the district is going to improve and unlike in the past this winter the supply won’t be affected much and the voltage will be better too.

Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST




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