Residents of various areas of this frontier district Wednesday held protest demonstrations against Power Development Department (PDD) for 'resorting to' unscheduled electricity cuts.
Protests were held in different villages of Lolab, Kralpora, Kupwara town and Trehgam.
"The PDD officials have taken us for a ride for past couple of months. There are regular and long power cuts in metered areas of Kupwara town including Dudwan, Rigpora, Bohipora, Brunwari, Malik Mohalla, Anwarabad, Mir Mohalla, Drugmulla and Bomhama. From past 15 days, major power breakdowns are being witnessed in entire town," said Irfan Malik, a resident of Kupwara town.
Situation is worse in un-metered rural areas where, people allege, power supply remains disrupted for days together in addition to normal power curtailment schedule.
The frequent power cuts have been irking consumers in Batpora, Halmatpora, Hayhama, Payerpora, Manzhar, Shatpora, Sohipora, Sulkoote, Brumri, Nutnoosa, Bobernag, Hatmulla, Nagri, Kalaroos, Vilgam, Chowkibal, Harai, Kralpora, Guzyal, Rishigund, Meelyal, Kachahama, Gulgam, Awoora and other villages.
Similarly, power has been playing hide and seek in Sogam, Lalpora, Chandigam, Diver, Tikipora, Wavoora, Cheepora, Kuligam, Khurhama, Warnow, Kandhar and Shalgund in Lolab valley where "PDD officials resort to frequent power cuts," as per residents.
"The frequent power cuts for last two months in Lolab area have made the lives of people miserable. Even if there is power, the voltage is so low that it fails to lit up a room," said Rameez Ahmad of Cheepora Lolab.
Residents of several villages in Handwara alleged that PDD officials frequently cut the power supply to villages of lower belt of Rajwar including Khaipora, Wadipora, Bakihakar, Goorihakar, Badalpora, Doodhipora, Budarkal, Budkoote, Machipora and Nagra Nard.
Similarly consumers of Langate, Magam, Ramhal and Karnah have also complained of erratic power supply in their respective areas.
"When we ask about the unnecessary and frequent power cuts, PDD officials make lame excuses of over-loading of the grid stations," the locals said.
The PDD authorities blame the consumers for the erratic power supply situation in Kupwara district.
"Consumers are using boilers and heaters during night hours which results in overloading of grid stations, forcing us to go for load-shedding. Consumers need to save the electricity and avoid resorting to power thefts," said a PDD official.