Power outages in Kashmir parts

Greater Kashmir received calls from several parts of the Kashmir division where consumers are complaining of power outages due to strike by power employees.
Power outages in  Kashmir parts
A woman holds candle as she cooks rice on gas stove in the absence of electricity in Srinagar amid heavy power curtailments during winters.File: Mubashir Khan/ GK

Srinagar: Many parts of the Kashmir division are facing power blackout as over 21000 employees of the power department in Jammu and Kashmir are on strike against the government’s privatisation move.

Greater Kashmir received calls from several parts of the Kashmir division where consumers are complaining of power outages due to strike by power employees.

The power employees from Friday are on pen and tool down strike, implying that no repair work of transmission feeders or grid stations will be conducted by them. On humanitarian grounds, the employees have decided to allow emergency power feeders to remain unaffected by the strike.

The strike by power employees has impacted consumers badly as this time many COVID patients are on oxygen support at their respective homes and disruption in the power supply can prove fatal for them.

“My father is on oxygen concentrator, from last night there is no power supply in our area, I hired a generator to ensure that my father gets medical oxygen supply without fail,” said Asif Ahmad, a resident of Kathidarwaza area of the old city.

Likewise these types of complaints of prolonged power cuts, in case of any damage to transformers or transmission nobody is coming forward to repair them leaving people in darkness.

President, JKEEU, Nasir Ahmad Bhat said "for the second day our members observed a complete strike and we will continue till the government listens to our demands. Though MD KPDCl and chief engineers of our department met us, there is no breakthrough as a result of which we will continue our strike." Bhat said that they have asked their members to ensure that the power supply in emergency feeders such as hospitals, PHE remain unaffected. "Apart from that, they won't resume their work till their demands are met and the government backs away from its privatisation move."

Chief Engineer, Kashmir Power Development Corporation Limited (KPDCL), Aijaz Ahmad Dar said that “due to the strike of our employees we could not rectify snags in transmission lines at many places on Saturday night as a result of which power supply remains affected in some areas of Kashmir division”.

“ But as on Sunday, we are supplying 92 per cent of the power supply, just 8 per cent supply is affected. We have employed our emergency crew to carry out repair works in grids, transmission lines wherever it was needed. Our emergency lines which supply power to hospitals, PHE stations are working, and at the same time, we are pursuing our colleagues to call off their strike. We had a meeting with them and we are hopeful that this issue will be redressed at the earliest,” Dar said.

Power Employees and Engineers Coordination Committee (PEECC), J&K Friday presented a four-point formula to the government and said that if the Administrative Department does not accept these demands, they would go ahead with an indefinite strike from December 18.

“The work boycott will stand unless the government gives written assurance to shelve the proposal of the JV of JKPTCL with PGCIL. The government should issue a white paper on non-fulfilment of the recommendations of the ‘unbundling’ report and the failure to create the positions as mandated by the committee at gazetted and non-gazetted levels, regularisation of PDLs, TDLs, DPC of non-gazetted staff, and regularisation of all PDD engineers,” the memorandum of demands of PEECC read.

Greater Kashmir