Acute power crisis in Bandipora

Official rebuffs peoples’ complaint

BANDIPORA: Bandipora in north Kashmir is facing acute power with annual increase in the load and consumption deteriorating the situation further as the supply to grids remains unchanged.
The Power Development Department (PDD) claimed that it is supplying power for not less than seven hours daily, which includes power to non-metered areas and not less than 19 hours electric supply for essential use.
Even though the officer’s themselves say that in winter they have a peak demand of 80 MVA for the division, against which Bandipora is receiving only 30 MVA power, which is 12 MVA from Badampora and 20 MVA from Amargrah grid stations respectively. From 20 MVA Amargrah line the structural constraints according to the PDD officers allows only 18 MVA to be utilised.
Locals ranging from doctors, entrepreneurs, laboratory technicians told Kashmir Reader complained that the near zero power supply was effecting their work and “the administration was paying no heed to the frustration it has caused among the masses”.
“I can’t afford the generator rent for daily usage to operate the machine. The cost runs much higher and I am losing the customers,”said Ishfaq Para, 24, who has recently thrown open a startup in town area. Para said it was better to shut it down for winter as there is no work without electricity.
People said that they have been forced to use kerosene or gas lamps as an alternative to erratic power supply “which was adversely affecting the old aged people suffering from chest illnesses, “Nazki, 30, who lives in the town area said. He added that even inverter batteries have given up on the charge.
Mushtaq Ahmad, 75, from Konan village said that they haven’t seen power from the recent snow fall, and “when the power comes – it does not last for even two minutes in a day. The maximum power supply I have noticed is not more than 30 minutes”.
An elderly tailor Mehraj Ahmad lone, 60, from town is anguished over erratic power supply as he has to deal with slow pace of work which eventually leads to losing customers. Due to frozen shoulder and tense elbow – Lone is not able to operate his machine manually.
“The absence of power supply has jeopardised my livelihood this winter and my arm hurt while working on the cloths manually. The situation is costing me a lot,” Mehraj said.
These complaints, however, seem exaggeration for PDD executive engineer BandiporaGhylamQadir – who said, ” People are complaining but they are not correct.”
Qadirsaid, “The PDD as of now was supplying 9-10 hours of electricity to metered areas and 7-8 hour electricity to non-metered areas and for essential services which includes hospitals the PDD according to the office was supplying 18-19 hours of electricity.”
When asked for an honest opinion if people in metered areas are getting the continued power supply for even an hour these days, the officer seemed very positive and without any doubt affirms – “yes honestly telling they are getting that, the people might be complaining but they are not true”.
“There is a mixture of metered and non-metered consumers at certain places, leave apart town 1 & 2 area, which is okay. Here we are not able to give 9-10 hours of electricity, they might be getting only 7-8 hours of electricity,” he added.
But then the officer himself confessed that the supply is very “erratic” and the cuts are frequent – but it’s not “always” like that.
“I have reports from town area only that our line gets overloaded and because of that it gets tripped, it is a forced or unscheduled cut, it can happen multiple times in an hour but it only happens sometimes or anytime and there is no human connection but they are system constraints, and we cannot foresee the cuts, sometimes we have better supply and other times its erratic,”Qadir said.
According to the officer – the un-commissioned 50 grid station has the solution for the power crisis in Bandipora, as the peak demand of 80MVA will be met after that is functional.
He said, “The situation will ease only after the 50 MVA capacity grid station is commissioned as the 80 MVA demand will be met”.
However, the grid station which was completed after almost a decade is lying dysfunctional from more than four years now due to transmission line issues. The 132 KV transmission line comes from Ganerbal to Patushahi grid station in Bandipora. The project has missed yet another deadline on 15th November.

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