PDD department clueless
Sopore: Being one of the largest towns in Kashmir, Sopore town of Baramulla district is home to around twenty thousand households comprising a population of around one lac souls. However, less than half of the households have valid electricity agreement and the rest of population is consuming electricity illegally. Worse, the officials of the Power development department have no idea about it.
According to the last census in 2011, the main Sopore town was holding around 13, 308 families but according to the senior officials at the Municipal Department it has already crossed 20,000 during last year but looking at the records of the Power development department in Sopore, the domestic agreements for electricity in the whole town holds around 9, 981.
This reporter visited few localities in the town only to find that consumers as well as officials of the department were responsible to the mess.
A senior resident of Ningli Mohalla of Sopore said that among 443 households, half of them are using electricity illegally by putting hooks on the transmission wires, which is not only is damaging the locality transformer but also putting huge losses to the PDD department.
The main town Sopore division consists of three subdivisions. Division first consists around 7481 domestic agreements and 613 are chronic defaulters who don’t pay electricity bill at all. The division second consists 1281 and division third 1219 in which around 200 are chronic defaulters, which means even after having only half of the domestic agreements registered in the town, several even after having agreements don’t pay at all.
Senior engineer of north Kashmir, Bashir Ahmad Baba told Kashmir Reader that until the privatization of electricity in Kashmir, the issue of electricity theft would continue to haunt the department.
Actually People don’t want to pay for the electricity what they use and need more but they will pay for everything whether its mobile bills, meat or everything but when it comes to electricity either they are too poor for having an agreement. “We cannot do anything. The defaulters are jobless, they cannot pay the bill,” he said.