SERC slams PDD for ‘arbitrary’ power cuts
Govt Has Lost Trust Of People: Qalander
Srinagar, June 23: While the latest unscheduled cuts by the Power Development Department (PDD) in the Valley have drawn flak from the public, the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) on Thursday slammed PDD for the arbitrary move saying the Department cannot revisit the curtailment schedule or go for extra-cuts without informing the consumers.
As already reported by this newspaper, PDD has, of late started, resorting to drastic unscheduled power cuts in the Valley, without publicizing any fresh curtailment schedule. The PDD authorities term the fresh power cuts as “distress curtailment” which they said has been put into place for the past two weeks.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, SERC chairperson, SM Desalphine said the consumers cannot be subjected to power curtailment without informing them about it.
“The consumers have to be informed in case curtailment or cuts become inevitable,” he said, adding the Commission would look into the matter.
Pertinently, PDD is, since last fortnight, subjecting the metered areas in the Valley to one hour extra curtailment and non-metered areas to two hours, besides enforcing the normal curtailment schedule. The total curtailment in the Valley presently is around 8 to 10 hours. While PDD informed people about the rotational cuts in Jammu, the same has been kept under wraps in the Valley.
According to the highly placed sources, PDD has divided Valley into 15 groups to enforce extra-curtailment schedule.
“The program of rotational cuts was kept under carpet to avoid embarrassment of government as higher authorities feared that people would take to streets on the lines of protests in winter when Valley witnessed frequent power outages,” they said and added that it was for the first time in recent past that the valley is being subjected to such harsh power cuts during the summers.
Meanwhile, strong resentment is brewing in the Valley against the extra curtailment, with civil society terming it unwarranted and uncalled for and legal fraternity saying it is an illegal move.
Former president of Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) Syed Shakeel Qalandar said the government owes an explanation for subjecting people to darkness.
“Usually there was decrease in power curtailment during the winters, but it is unfortunate that this time government has failed not only to revise arbitrary curtailment schedule issued in December last year, but also resorted to additional cuts causing great inconvenience to the consumers,” he said.
Qalandar also questioned the claims of the government about supplying more energy this time than the corresponding period of last year.
“The assertions of the state government about supplying 10 percent more energy to Valley is nothing but a blatant lie,” he said adding that government should come up with the figures of energy supplied to the consumers and load registered since last year.
Mincing no words in castigating the government for unwarranted power cuts, Qalandar said: “In fact, the government has lost trust of people as it has failed to fulfill promises made with the masses vis-à-vis uninterrupted power supply.”
Qalandar said the claims of the government about providing 24 hour power supply to the consumers have proven hoax. “How can the consumers in non-metered cooperate and volunteer for installation of meters at their premises as government has itself violated its commitments with consumers in metered areas,” he added.
General Secretary of High Court Bar Association (HCBA) Ghulam Nabi Shaheen said that subjecting valley to additional power cuts is an illegal move as “it is violation of contract consumers have with the PDD”.
“The settled principle of rule of law is that no one shall be punished unheard. Since the consumers have not been informed by PDD and it amounts to punishing the consumers without being heard. So it is an illegal move,” Shaheen said.
“If they informed consumers in Jammu, same should have been done here,” he said, adding, “Keeping people unaware about power cuts here reflects discriminatory attitude of the department towards Valleyites.”
Lastupdate on : Sat, 23 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 23 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 24 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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