Despite assurances Beerwah villages facing power outages in Ramadhan

Despite assurances Beerwah villages facing power outages in Ramadhan

BUDGAM: Government assurances to provide regular power supply during the holy month of Ramadhan have fallen flat with residents of Beerwah sub-division who are facing frequent power cuts.
Residents of Khag, Drang, Habber, Sitaharan, Harde-Surush, Poshker, Lokipora, Nasarpora, Gamboora, Budran, Magam, Kanihama, Mazhama and dozens of other villages complained to Kashmir Reader about the scheduled and unscheduled power cuts during sehri (pre dawn meals) and iftaar times.
Bashir Ahmad Bhat, an elderly resident of Khag, said that power scenario in the area was relatively better before the holy month, but suddenly worsened with the onset of Ramadhan.
“Despite paying power bills regularly, the power development department (PDD) is resorting to unscheduled power cuts and putting us in trouble,” Bashir said.
Another resident, Saleeem Jahangeer, said that the district administration had assured people of a regular power supply during Ramadhan but since the beginning of the holy month, “the power scenario in the district has worsened”.
He said that power cuts at the time of “Iftaar (breaking fast) and Sehri (pre-dawn meals) are a routine affair in Kanihama area of Budgam district”.
A resident of Lokipora, Sheikh Israr, said that power scenario in far flung areas of the district was even worse.
“We have not spotted lights in our lamps in the past ten days of Ramadan,” Israr said. “We have been left in complete darkness by the concerned authorities, despite promising of uninterrupted power supply”.
Mir Mushtaq, a resident of Arizal, added that iftar and sehri are the two important times during Ramadhan, but unfortunately, the power supply often remains suspended or affected at both times.
A day before the beginning of Ramadhan, Mir said, the government had issued fresh power schedule promising to ensure power supply at iftar and sehri timings but failed to adhere to the schedule.
People alleged that they often eat sehri meals under candlelight as the power is cut minutes before sehri or after people start eating the pre-dawn meal.
Executive Engineer Power Development Department, Budgam, Mohammad Hussain Shah admitted that the whole area comprising of over 200 villages was facing power curtailments.
“The area is getting power supply from Ahmadpora power station, which is heavily overloaded,” Shah said. “Unless and until the station gets augmented, there is no scope of improvement in power supply of affected area.”
Second thing, he added, is the sharp dip in temperature in last seven months, “which has badly increased the load on already overloaded power supply”.
“The consumers, particularly, in remote areas are still using heating gadgets, causing a breakdown in power supply. We are making efforts to improve the supply, especially at iftar and sehri,” he said.
If weather improves, he said, there is possibility of improvement in coming days.