Chief Engineer passes buck to distribution wing, which says, ‘no communication yet’
Srinagar: A month has passed since Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha e-inaugurated the Verinag receiving station, among other power projects, but the officials in charge have failed to make operations start at the station.
On 3rd April, Manoj Sinha virtually inaugurated 17 power projects worth Rs 118.91 crore in Jammu and Kashmir. Among them was the Verinag receiving station with a project cost of Rs 3.22 crore.
The 33KV receiving station was initially sanctioned by the PDP-BJP government in May 2018 under Prime Minister’s Development Plan (PMDP). Although the station was expected to get completed within a time period of six months, it took almost three long years for its completion. Even after this huge delay, there is no end to the sufferings of people as they continue to face voltage and power crises amid the holy month of Ramadan.
“The inauguration of the receiving station by the LG recently had come as a ray of hope for all of us. We thought that we’ll be getting a big relief from pesky power cuts and low voltage problems. But it turned out to be a hogwash. Over a month has passed but no visible work has been done on ground to start the station and ease the sufferings of people,” Mushtaq Ahmad, a resident of Verinag, told Kashmir Reader.
The receiving station is expected to supply power to the huge area of Verinag comprising about 50 thousand households. As per the officials, there will be three different feeders at the receiving station including one for the main town and two others for its adjoining areas.
“This is surely going to end the power crisis in our area which has been going on since long. Even in this month of Ramadan, we are getting only 12 hours of power supply per day. While the administration emphasises on ensuring ample power supply during this month, the situation is totally different here. No one is paying heed to our sufferings as our repeated requests continue to fall on deaf ears,” Mushtaq added.
During winters, the power supply in the area gets even worse as the people are hardly able to get 6-8 hours of power supply in a day, which leaves them struggling with the harsh cold. “In winter, no one would like to visit here. There’s no electricity at all, hardly a few hours, that too with frequent cuts. As the summer arrives, we get some relief from cuts. This cycle keeps repeating every year, there’s no change to it,” another resident told Kashmir Reader.
Chief Engineer Projects and Procurement Javed Yousuf Dar told Kashmir Reader that they’d completed the receiving station on their part and the delay was due to the distribution wing failing to take over the project completely.
“We have completed the receiving station and handover is pending due to the possible lack of staff with the M&RE wing. All the work has been completed and it’s now the responsibility of the distribution wing to take over. There is no delay at our end,” Javed said while asking this reporter to talk with the concerned SE in this regard.
However, Superintending Engineer, M&RE Circle Bijbehara Ghulam Rasool Khanday told Kashmir Reader that the department had received no communication so far for taking over the receiving station and there was ample staff available with them to be deployed for starting off the station.
“There has been no communication yet in this regard. If there was any, we would have wasted no time in throwing it open to the public. We usually receive official communication from projects wing to take over but till now there has been no such communication. The project team usually goes for an inspection first, which is followed by the hand over to us. Such claims are totally wrong. We neither have received any communication nor is there any dearth of staff,” Rasool said.