SHOPIAN: It has been a month since heavy snowfall disrupted and damaged power supply lines in the Valley in general but particularly in south Kashmir. However, repairs on transmission lines are still the same as when they were damaged by the snow.
Both Shopian and Pulwama districts of south Kashmir were worst hit with the disruption of the state’s power services. Consumers from both districts said that despite the government’s tall claims, they were receiving mere minutes of power supply out of the day’s 24 hours. They said that children and students were adversely affected with the breakdown of electricity services. “These are examination days, but the present dispensation yet again failed to provide scheduled power supplies. The children are not able to study under candle and kerosene lamp lights; it affects their health and studies as well,” said Feroz Ahmad Sheikh, a resident of Shopian town.
Residents from Litter belt of district Pulwama told Kashmir Reader that they would be happy if the government disconnected their power lines instead of supplying only minutes of power a day. “We want to tell the government to disconnect our power lines and agreements. A poor consumer is bring looted not by any private agency but by the government itself,” said local resident Jahangir Ahmad Ganie, adding that people bearing hardships are paying their costly power bills but the higher authorities are unmoved over restoring power supply in the area.
A lawyer from the District Bar Association of Shopian told Kashmir Reader that they too protested in front of the district administration but were assured of speedy restoration of the power supply. “Their assurances turned into big lies since a month has passed and the condition of the power supply is the same,” he said.
Shakir Ahmad, a Pulwama engineering student, said that the present power supply curtailment is not any curtailment but a ‘cut all meant’. “Our studies are getting affected, that too in this bone chilling winter of December. They (the government) claim that they have a developed setup, and yet in this era of science and technology, it took them over a month to repair a single transmission tower,” Shakir said.
The district administration of both the districts said that there wasn’t any snag in power wires or towers in either district but there were damages in power supply towers in south Kashmir’s Wanpoh area.
Superintending Engineer, Power Development Department (PDD), South Kashmir, Lateef Ahmad Shah told Kashmir Reader that it would take the PDD two to three more days to restore the damaged Wanpoh tower. “I, before 27 days, told the government that it will take us a month to repair the tower and lines. I repeated that same version on visit of the Advisor to Governor, Khursheed Ahmad Ganie,” he said, adding that work on the towers is complete. “We are laying wires now, and within two days there will be scheduled power supply in the region,” he said. However PDD Chief Engineer Hashmat Qazi told Kashmir Reader that the scheduled supplies will be restored by Monday evening. “We have completed work on towers and laying wires, and the services will be restored by this evening,” he said.