Kupwara residents aghast over frequent power outages

PDD appeals for ‘judicious use’ to see better supply

By: Jahangir Lolabi

Kupwara: It was in December 2021 that Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) authorities said the transmission capacity had peaked to 1750 MW – for the first time in the history of Kashmir – even as saying it would be further increased to 1900 MW, however much to the agony of inhabitants, villages across length and breadth in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district continue to witness frequent power outages amid an already curtailed up schedule.

Residents from various villages including, Kralpora, Trehgam, Muqam-i-Shahwali, Nagri, Bramri, Lalpora, Bohipora, Drugmulla, Water Khani, Bumhama, Shalpora, Sogam, Khumriyal, Haihama, Mawer, Rajwar, Gutlipora have been calling the local news gathering agency intermittently over the days, asking it to highlight the issue.

“We are facing power outages at regular intervals for nearly three weeks now”, said a resident of Lalpora.

Alleging the PDD of resorting to a lackadaisical approach, he said that despite several appraisals we are yet to see anything significant being done to redress the issue.

A resident of Haihama also said that they have been witnessing power cuts more than often. “We are not able to understand as to why we are being made victims”, he lamented.

“It happens that after every five to ten minutes, there is at least one power outage and if one goes by these numbers one can with certainty say that we face at least five to six outages in merely an hour”, a Drugmulla resident said.

“And ironically it all happens during the already curtailed up power schedule by the department”, he said adding “We are asked to pay the fees but reality is that we are being exploited by the authorities for we not only have to pay the fees but also spend more than that on other lighting essentials.”

When contacted, Executive Engineer PDD Shameem Ahmad said that there is a manifold increase in consumption of supply, resulting in overloading and power outages.  “Amid prevailing cold weather conditions, people have been using heavy duty appliances, which consume more power which in turn has forced us to curtail the supply”, he said.

The official however decried the ‘non-judicious use’ of electricity by the people even as saying there were many consumers who haven’t paid the fees for years altogether.

“Had the people been using the electricity judiciously and paying the fees on time, we wouldn’t have to do such things”, he said.

“The unscrupulous approach of some people forces us to resort to power cuts”, the official said adding we simply don’t have any other option at hand.

Reiterating his appeal, the official said that people should cooperate with the department by using the electricity ‘judiciously’ and paying the fee on time to help the department in ensuring better supply.

Pertinently, Chief Engineer, Kashmir Power Transmission Corporation Limited, Hashmat Qazi had in December last year said that it was for the first time they were able to supply 1750 MW electricity which according to him was around 320 MW higher than last year.

“After commissioning one more 160 MVA facility at Anantnag by virtue of which our capacity will increase by another 120 MW, we will be able to supply around 1900 MW of electricity in the Kashmir division”, Qazi had then said.

“Power department has enhanced its transmission capacity and it is now the responsibility of consumers to use power judiciously,” he underlined. (GNS)

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