Despite the passage of over a decade, Power Development Department’s receiving station at Safalpora area of Qaziabad in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district is yet to be commissioned, leaving over 20 villages in darkness.
The delay in making the receiving station functional over the past years has reflected the failure of the successive regimes to electrify the villages in Qaziabad area.
An official said that after the project got approved in 2006, it was not executed on the ground following which funds for the project were approved under languishing projects.
Meanwhile, resentment is brewing among the people against the government over the delay in making the receiving station functional.
Locals said the receiving station, if made functional, would cater to more than 20 villages of Qaziabad where people are living in darkness from the past many years.
“Currently, our villages don’t get proper and scheduled electric supply which causes inconvenience to the public. The villages in this area get few hours of electric supply during summer months and in winters we are without electric supply,” said GhulamQadir, a resident of the area.
According to locals, the receiving station was approved for Qaziabad area in 2006 but after fresh assembly elections in 2008, efforts were made to shift it to some other area because of vote bank politics.
“However, the government succumbed to public resentment and didn’t shift it from here. So it was decided that the receiving station will come up at the existing site in Safalpora village of Qaziabad,” said a local. “But the work on the project got delayed for years due to a tussle over shifting of the station.”
Currently, the villages of Qaziabad area in Kupwara district are connected to the receiving station in Watergam of Baramulla district.
“We don’t get electric supply from the receiving station we are connected to. The receiving station provides electricity to Rafiabad area and we get neglected,” another resident said.
GhulamNabi, a local said, “A three-room building was constructed at Safalpora village to house the receiving station but nothing happened after that.”
The residents appealed the administration to expedite work on the project and make it functional.
Executive Engineer Sub Transmission Division (STD), Farooq Ahmad Shah said the tendering of the project was done in 2018 and would be commissioned in June or July 2021.
“The funds were released under a languishing scheme for the project. After I assumed the charge, work on the project was expedited. The work on the 33,000 KV power line and work on the control room at the site has also been completed,” he said.