SRINAGAR: Work at Kashmir University has almost come to a standstill due to lack of electricity. Unscheduled power cuts and erratic supply in the past fifteen days has disrupted academic work and left students, teachers and non-teaching staff at their wits’ end.
Work has been most affected in the scientific departments. “We have not been able to plan our research work as the power cuts have greatly disturbed our laboratory schedule. No one has told us why this is happening and for how long this will continue,” a student at the chemistry department said.
According to a professor at the Environmental Science department, voltage fluctuations have increased this year, causing further disturbance. “We have not even been able to hold our meetings. The harsh weather and the lack of consistent electricity and proper heating arrangement has only added to our troubles,” he said.
Several non-teaching staff told Reader that they were not able to register their biometric attendance on Saturday. “We did punch-in in the morning but in the evening we were not able to punch-out as the biometric machines had run out of power supply,” an employee said.
Superintending Engineer Showkat Banday, however, told Reader that the university has been receiving continuous power supply except on Saturday when the university authorities had demanded a halt in power supply for the pruning of tree branches at Naseem Bagh. “There is no problem otherwise as far as the university is concerned,” Banday said.
On the contrary, Vice-Chancellor of Kashmir University Professor Khurshid Iqbal Andrabi said that power woes had taken a toll on the university work. “The problem was there even before the demand was made for the pruning of trees at Naseem Bagh. We have also informed the power department about the issue and expect that it will be sorted out,” Professor Andrabi said.
Echoing the concerns, Registrar Professor Muhammad Amin Sahaf confirmed the reports that university work has been suffering from unscheduled power cuts. “We even informed the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir of the issue, after which he called the power department officials. The power supply was restored for a few days but later returned to its erratic state,” Professor Sahaf said.
Pertinently, the university, located in Hazratbal area of Srinagar, had cancelled its vacations this winter to compensate for the class-work lost during the five months of unrest last year.