There is no letup in the protests across north Kashmir’s Bandipora district against the Power Development Department’s recent hike in tariff with the residents complaining that erratic power supply does not justify the hike.
Following Hajin, the nearby Shahgund village in Sumbal division of the district witnessed protests against the PDD on Friday, with men accompanied by women blocking the Sopore road to register their protest against the hike in power tariff.
“We don’t ever see uninterrupted power supply for an hour. In absence of proper power supply, the winter has made our lives miserable. Our children are being forced to study under the candle lights. In such a scenario, how does PDD expect us to pay the hiked tariff,” said Abdul Jabbar, an elderly resident of Shahgund village.
Imtiyaz Ahmad, a labourer by profession, said, “The population in the entire village and surrounding areas is poor. They were unable to find work for the large part of the previous year. This power tariff hike is another burden on their small finances. The department should immediately roll back the power tariff hike.’”
Raising slogans against PDD, the protesters requested Lieutenant Governor ManojSinha to consider their pleas following which they dispersed peacefully.
On Thursday, people in Hajin town came out on roads and assembled in protest against the PDD for resorting to “unscheduled power cuts”.
A youth GowharMaqbool, from Hajin, said, “We were getting only a few hours of erratic power supply for the entire day as PDD does not follow any schedule despite repeated requests.”
Last week too, several residents living in various Bandipora hamlets had gathered in protest against the PDD for raising power tariff. The recently-elected DCC members, Panchs and Sarpanchs also gathered to show their support to the public.
However, the PDD officials said that the problems were occurring due to overload and requested the people to mindfully use electric appliances.
About the hike in power tariff, Executive Engineer PDD division BandiporaGhulamQadir told Greater Kashmir that they were considering requests of the cases of the poor.