Tussle over 33kv power line between PDD and villagers affects health care in Budgam

Tussle over 33kv power line between PDD and villagers affects health care in Budgam
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BUDGAM: The tussle between the villagers of Goon Ahmadpora and the power development department over the laying of 33k service line has badly hit the major hospitals of the area and has pushed hundreds of villages in complete darkness.
Meanwhile, the power development department blames the common masses for pushing the people in darkness by “extensively damaging” the 33kv line. However, common people accuse the PDD and district administration of not paying heed to their pleas.
Sources from the hospitals told Kashmir Reader that healthcare in major hospitals like sub-district hospital Magam, SDH Beerwah, and several dozens of health centres in this particular area have been hit.
Block Medical officer Magam, Dr Tahir Sajad told Kashmir Reader that the power crisis has badly hit the functioning of the hospital. “Ours is one of the major hospitals in the area but we are stuck without power supply,” he added.
“We need 16 litres of fuel on a daily basis that costs almost Rs 5000-6000 a day. Which is very costly,” Tahir said.
He added that in recent three days the only expenditure of fuel charges is more than Rs 16000 which is very hefty. “If it would not be restored in short period of time, we will be forced to shut down the hospital,” he added.
Similarly, the sub-district hospital Beerwah is also facing the tough time. With most of the critical departments almost defunct due to lack of power supply.
In addition to this, over 200 villages in Beerwah, Kunzer, Khag and Magam areas are without electricity for past three days.
The people have shown a strong resentment over the pathetic approach of the officials in sorting out their issues.
“We are living in complete darkness for last three days. A dispute between people and PDD officials have pushed us to darkness,” locals of Beerwah area said.
They allege PDD department for “negligence ” and “carelessness” in resolving the issue.
Pertinently on Friday, the violent protestors of Goom Ahmadpora area had damaged the 33kv live and poles completely when their demands were not met by the PDD officials and district administration.
Residents of Goom Ahmadpora are opposing the laying of 2nd 33K KV service line that they say has safety concerns for them.
The people have accused the officials of “highhandedness” and “brutality” however, the officials blame public for the extensive damage of power line and taking law in their own hands.
“It is an undemocratic act where poor people are suppressed brutally and are not given right to say their side of the story. Whatever the results will be, state rulers will be responsible,” locals said.
A local source told Kashmir Reader that the people of the area who were protesting against the establishment of the 2nd 33kv electric line through the area on Friday were thrashed and confronted by government forces with teargas Shelling and lathi charge.
The existing 33kv line was coming from Ahmadpora station to Magam via vital road connecting Pattan with Magam area.
The PDD department and the then deputy commissioner Baramulla had assured them that net will be established beneath the line but nothing sort has been done people say has forced them to come out on streets and stage a protest.
The department is establishing another 33kv line through the same road. Residents said that the line can prove fatal for residents especially children as the degree college and five big schools lie on the same road.
“Almost ten thousand students pass through the same road daily,” residents said.
Residents say that although that they had offered alternative land to shift the line but authorities were unmoved and “do not pay heed to our pleas”.
The incident has evoked sharp criticism from political leaders including resistance leader.
A resident of Khag said that the government is tackling issues through the use of force alone which is not a solution but will aggravate the problem.
“It can be amicably settled with negotiations, ” he said.
Yesterday the locals alleged police of beating them up and arresting dozens of youth during night raids in the area.
Assistant executive engineer PDD STD-2 Suhail Murtaza told Reader that the poles were already erected in 2012 for both the circuits (existing one and new one).
“We were facing problems by the grid rotation because it had only one 33kv line and to overcome the problem we were laying another 33kv live via the same route. But people did not allow us and damaged it completely,” he said.
When asked why people’s objections were not entertained, he replied “it is not up to us whether to reject or approve the offer. But it was already approved by the competent authority and the poles were already erected in 2012”.
He added that shifting of the line was another big project which was not possible for the department to approve currently however they were trying to sort it out on a higher level.
“The people have already agreed with the decisions of the department but today they oppose,” he added.
What are the possible ways to overcome the crisis he said: “we have connected the areas with several other grid stations and they are getting power supply”.
He added that we are on job and will take two to three days to restore it completely.