Srinagar: The wooden electric poles installed by the Power Development Department (PDD) some decades back in Downtown area of Srinagar city poses a huge threat to life and property.
Locals said that these poles are decayed and are vulnerable to fall which may result in loss of life and damage to the property.
“These wooden poles have been here right from my childhood and have now decayed with the passage of time. These poles cannot resist the winds. They can fall any time as they shake badly when the wind blows,” said Abdul Rashid, an elderly resident of Nawakadal.
Jameela, who lives in Safakadal, told Kashmir Reader, “These decayed poles give us sleepless nights. The pole has also deviated from its normal position and is now so close to my house that I cannot even open windows properly. The pole seems to be life threatening as it shakes so badly it may fall any time, which could result in huge loss of property and life. We have requested the concerned department many times to replace and relocate the pole, but they never paid heed and have always ignored this serious issue.”
Locals claim that at many places cemented as well as steel poles were erected to replace the wooden ones but these new poles are not functional. “No doubt PDD has installed steel poles at many places, but these are of no use. The new poles were meant to replace the wooden poles, but PDD has not shifted the electric lines from the decayed wooden poles to the new ones,” said Mohammed Ayoub from Qamarwari.
While locals are worried about the department’s failure to replace the decayed poles, the area’s cable operators and the Telecommunication department add to the people’s miseries. Locals claim that the Telecommunication department and cable operators place their cables on these wooden poles, increasing the chances of disaster.
“PDD is in deep slumber, they must be waiting for the worst to happen. Whenever the wind blows or it snows, these decayed poles are the first thing that immediately comes to our mind. These poles cannot withstand pressure any more. Their usage is not confined to electricity alone but they have also been used for cable connections and telephone connections,” said a local from Downtown locality.
For the department’s part, Chief Engineer Electrical Maintenance and Rural Electrification (EM&RE) Wing, PDD, ShehnazGoni told Kashmir Reader that PDD has started its work of replacing wooden poles by steel poles but it will take some time.
“It all comes under Central Sponsored Schemes, for which we were granted Rs 2,500 crore for Srinagar. We had started this project from Airport Road, but because of some problem we have not covered some areas of LalChowk and downtown. It will take some time, but will be covered in our project,” Shehnaz said.