SHOPIAN: As unscheduled power cuts have become the order of the day in Kashmir Valley the situation in Shopian is much worse.
Residents says unscheduled power cuts are a routine for the whole year in Shopian, while from the last ten days, majority of the villages rarely see any power. Besides, the voltage is very low.
Businesses dependent on electricity complain of a crisis. “Despite paying huge power bills we are forced to use generators,” Muntazir Ahmad, the owner of a computer institute in Shopian town said.
Umar Ashraf Dalal, a local resident remarked that the government has failed in every aspect of development in Shopian.
“Shopian has been neglected every time in terms of development, job policies and even in education sector, and these electricity cut downs in winters is a routine,” Dalal said.
“Almost all the equipments nowadays installed at our homes and offices are run by electricity. This is just the beginning of the winters and we are facing such problems and one can easily figure out how the long chilling winter is going to affect our daily life due to these continuous electricity cuts,” he added.
Hamid Gulzar, another resident, rued that despite being “one of the largest producers of electricity in India”, J&K struggles to get its share.
“Instead of giving services to locals, government supplies power to other states of India which have added to the miseries of the local people,” Gulzar said.
Apart from power cuts, the problems are aggravated by transformer breakdowns, which residents say take months to repair.
A transformer repairing center at Gagren Shopian, residents said, lacks the required facilities including skilled manpower. Muhammad Nafie, a resident of Douchnu village of Hirpora area said that they were waiting for repair of their electricity transformer for two months.
“Eighty households of our village were living in darkness from two months and authorities forces us to make fruitless rounds of their offices,” Nafie said.
“We took the damaged transformer to Gagren for repairing three times, but every time we install it, it breaks down again. , The men there (repair centre) lack the technical knowhow. They have hired linemen, how come they know the technical things,” Parvaiz Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Pargochi village said.Another resident said that people are forced to get the transformers repaired at private centers who skin the consumers. “The officials from PDD and private repairing centers are in a league. They force the people to take transformers there and then share the money among themselves,” Bilal Ahmad Kumar, another resident said.
Executive Engineer Power Development Department STD Shopian/Pulwama, Feeroz Ahmad Wani told Kashmir Reader that he will look into the service centre issue.
“I joined three days back and I will try to provide every possible relief to the consumers. Currently we are facing power shortage which is also seen in Shopian,” Wani said.
Asked why Shopian faced more power cuts than other districts, Wani said, he would visit Shopian day after tomorrow “and take stock of the problems.”