Srinagar: It’s a shame that the Power Development Department (PDD) as always is taking the hapless people in Kashmir again for a ride. The situation across the Valley has been turned pathetic by the attitude and failure of the officials of the department that even the Chief Minister is facing embarrassment on the failure of the government to provide electricity to the masses here.
The PDD’s schedule announcing the curtailment in various areas of the Valley beginning November 1, has been proving to be a big hoax. In metered areas of the City where the PDD had promised a curtailment of 3 hrs on daily basis, the curtailment runs upto 7 or even 9 hours. Similarly, in non metered areas of the city the curtailment is running upto 11 or 12 hours.
This being the reason that the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti just yesterday pulled up commissioner-secretary Power, for failing to provide adequate power supply to the consumers besides failing miserably on improving the import capacity of the state so that the demand of power during winters is fulfilled.
The state as of now is facing the worse power crisis primarily owing to lack of infrastructure which would enhance its power transmission capacity.
The unabated electricity outages emerging out of non availability of power for distribution among the consumers is primarily because of the fact that the Alsteng and the Budgam Grid stations have been left incomplete despite the projects missing the completion deadlines from the past four years now.
Given the increased demand owing to the approaching winters, the power scenario has worsened across the Valley for the past four to five days, forcing the Chief Minister to chair the meeting of top power department officers.
Notably, the incomplete works in the Alstang and the Budgam grids is affecting the power import capacity. The commissioning of these two vital projects will take Kashmir’s power import capacity from present 1250-MW to 1650-MW which is adequate to meet the present power demand.
What is worrying is that the government on the one hand is trying to demand the completion of the projects, but on the other the funds for completing some minor works in these two projects have not been released since the last three years.
However, the PDD is not failing on this front only. The department’s inaction has forced the curtailment schedule to cross all limits with an unannounced curtailment schedule proving to be a major concern for the general population.
The government should primarily rise to the occasion and devise a mechanism where the announced schedule both in non metered and metered areas should be followed in letter and spirit.