POWER WOES BACK TO HAUNT KASHMIRIS
Several Areas In Valley To Greet Eid In Darkness
Srinagar, Nov 3: When Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweets about his Apple products and logs on Facebook to check responses to his updates, around hundred families from downtown Zahidpora, Hawal huddle before primitive mode of light, either candles or gas lanterns, to check only each others’ faces.
The locality, housing doctors, engineers and businessman is without electricity for the past six days.
However, Zahidpora is not the only exception in this “era of darkness.” The locality is among 58 other areas in the Valley that might celebrate upcoming Eid in the dark. Despite affecting a major hike in the power tariff this year, the state government is seen struggling to ensure minimum basic availability of electricity with the harshest period of the winter – Chillai Kalan – still to begin.
The Power Development Department’s Pampore workshop has 58 damaged transformers pending repairs. Around six broken transformers are from downtown city’s Khanyar division, which means 600-odd families will be braving cold and watching black screens of television and computers.
“We heard a bang on Friday evening, emerging from the local transformer,” said Naveed Ahmad, a resident of Zahidpora.
The PDD officials with their office close to the transformer were quick to remove it on Saturday morning. “Since then there is no news of the transformer. In 21st century, when living without mobiles and computers is difficult, the inability to restore electricity even after six days reflects nothing but poor governance and inefficiency of the PDD,” said Naveed.
Locals claim that all inverters and electronic gadgets functioning on electricity are down by now. “Our family sleeps at 9:30 pm. My studies have gone for a toss. There is no hot water for bath. I wonder how long will deodorants make us feel fresh,” said Khalid, another resident of Hawal. “Non availability of electricity has turned our Eid preparations sour,” he added.
The posh Barzalla locality of the city uptown had to face a similar ordeal Wednesday when the transformer gave in leaving the area in without electricity for around 48 hours. Officials at the Pampore workshop confirmed to Greater Kashmir that there is a sudden surge in the transformer conking out in the Valley. “We have 58 damaged transformers right now. We are trying to fix them,” said Tufail Ahmad, Assistant Executive Engineer at the workshop.
The PDD blames the overload for the damages. It seems the recruitment of hundreds of engineers by the PDD this year has made a little redeeming difference in the department.
“Which city or capital in India will see darkness for six days? It seems only sit-ins and stone throwing forces the authorities to wake up to the crisis,” said another resident of Khanyar.
While the city is still better off with regards to availability of power, Kashmir’s countryside has already started witnessing extended darkness with the onset of the winter.
“We get to see power supply just for an hour or two in 24 hours,” says Muhammad Ramzan, a resident of Pulwama.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 3 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 3 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 4 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
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