Srinagar: Thousands of electric poles and over two dozen transformers were damaged by heavy overnight snowfall, plunging many major towns of the Valley into darkness, even as the Power Development Department (PDD) said Monday that it was making hectic efforts to restore the supply.
Here in Srinagar, several areas were reeling under darkness since Sunday evening after the Valley received heavy snowfall. The snowfall uprooted electric poles and snapped service lines, leaving dozens of localities without electricity. Many posh areas and commercial places like Residency Road and Lal Chowk were out of electricity till Monday evening.
Chief Engineer, PDD, Bashir Ahmad Khan told Kashmir Reader that between 2000 to 3000 poles, mostly in south Kashmir, were damaged by the heavy snowfall. He said 25 transformers also suffered damages.
“The power supply was hit in Srinagar city after the lines were damaged. However, the supply was unaffected in downtown, where we have less plantation. We are hopeful to restore 90 percent supply by Monday evening,” Khan said.
He said his department pressed men and machinery into service from early Monday when the consumption was only 70 MWs against the daily average of 1150 MWs. He said after the repair work the consumption will cross 800 MWs.
“We will also restore electricity in 80 percent affected areas of north Kashmir. However, in south Kashmir serious damage has been caused to poles and transformers. We might restore 50-60 percent electricity in south; however it might take a day or two to completely restore the power,” said Khan, adding that the material like poles and wires have been sent to the affected areas to expedite the restoration process.
Meanwhile, according to an official spokesman, Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Kumar Singh chaired a high level meeting here to take stock of the situation.
“Singh told the PDD officials that the damaged power infrastructure should be restored on war-footing. He also directed the Development Commissioner Power to review the power scenario of the state on weekly basis and submit the report to the Principal Secretary Power,” the spokesman said.
He said Singh directed the concerned officers to gear up their men and machinery for immediate repair and restoration of damaged transmission lines and other infrastructure including transformers, so that people do not face any inconvenience during these cold days. “He also asked the officials to ensure power supply to people with minimum curtailment and directed to restore power supply to essential services like hospitals, water supply schemes, dewatering stations on priority basis,” the spokesman said.