Asks PDD to ensure electricity; calls for relief disbursement to snow-hit orchardists
SRINAGAR: Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam has said the government would explore avenues to augment power supply to Kashmir during winters so that there is less curtailment in view of harsh weather conditions.
He directed PDD to publicise the curtailment schedule widely through media so that the people prepare for the same in advance. He said PDD should also come out with a comparative statement regarding demand and supply of power for the corresponding period this year and the previous year.
Chief Secretary also directed PDD to set up a dedicated help-line to address issues faced by people on account of electricity.
Subrahmanyam was speaking while reviewing winter management measures including power scenario at a high-level meeting with the divisional administration Kashmir at the winter secretariat here on Friday evening, an official handout read.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan informed the chief secretary (CS) that the power scenario is being reviewed on day-to-day basis. He said the current peak demand is about 2200 MWs while as peak load served is around 1300 MWs.
Khan said the Power Development Department (PDD) has, in view of the demand-supply gap, announced a curtailment schedule in the Valley, an official handout read.
According to the handout, 241 transformers have been damaged and steps are being taken to create buffer stock for immediate replacement of damaged transformers. “Three out of four portions of 132 KV line damaged due to November 3/4 snowfall have been restored while the fourth damaged portion will be restored by December 25,” it read.
On road connectivity, Subrahmanyam was informed that all roads, earlier blocked due to recent snowfall have been cleared, except for the Mughal Road.
Officials said 651 water supply schemes that were impacted by snowfall have been completely restored.
Chief secretary also took stock of the availability of essential commodities including food-grains, LPG and K-oil and called for ensuring buffer stocks to meet the demand.
Reviewing the issues faced by orchardists due to the recent snowfall, the CS was told that deputy commissioners have completed the assessment of damages and disbursement of cash compensation has been initiated. “The orchards in south Kashmir have suffered extensive damage which requires additional funds,” read the handout further.
The divisional commissioner, Kashmir said that as per the assessment made by DCs, an additional amount of Rs 150 crore would be needed to compensate the losses.
Responding to the demand raised by the divisional commissioner, Kashmir, Subrahmanyam made it clear that “there is no dearth of funds and government will ensure that the affected farmers are compensated adequately”. He, however, issued clear cut instructions to the DCs to ensure expeditious disbursement of compensation and update the divisional commissioner, Kashmir on day-to-day basis, the handout read.
The chief secretary also directed divisional administration to make adequate arrangements for the upcoming Eid-e-Milad and Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s birthday celebrations for the convenience of the devotees.
He reiterated the administration’s commitment in ensuring that people in Kashmir division did not face any inconvenience on account of power supply and other basic services during the winter months, when the durbar is at Jammu, it added.