Metered, as well as non-metered consumers in the valley, accuse the Power Development Department (PDD) of not following its recently curtailment schedule and subjecting them to long hours of unscheduled power cuts.
The residents of various Srinagar areas including Bemina Habba Kadal, Fateh Kadal, SafaKadal, Khanyar, Batamaloo, Rambagh, Natipora, Sanat Nagar, Humhama and others alleged that PDD has failed to follow the electricity schedule.
“Frequent power cuts have made the situation miserable for us. Despite the fact that we have been paying regular bills, we are left to suffer amid freezing cold,” Abdul Hameed, a resident of Rajbagh told news agency Press Trust of Kashmir.
Many people believe that curtailment in the metered areas is against the norms, as the department is bound to provide them round-the-clock power supply. “We are witnessing frequent power cuts despite our locality being fully metered. It is very tough to survive without electricity in this bone-chilling weather,” Mohammad Sultan Bhat, a resident of Dal gate said.
He added due to sudden power cuts, the machine stops and needs to be restarted. “This creates problems for us as the inverter’s battery drains fast due to insufficient electricity”.
“Every year the PDD issues a power cut schedule but never follows it”, said Farooq Bhat, a resident of Jahawar Nagar, Srinagar, adding that the schedule remains just on paper. “It is just the beginning. The harsh winter is yet to come and electricity has already vanished in Valley. There is a shortage of firewood in the market with most of the people having shunned the traditional means and switched over to modern means of heating, for which the electricity is precondition” Farooq added.
Press Trust of Kashmir received many complaints from all most all the districts of the Kashmir valley about the power curtailment. “We are facing regular power cuts for past one week even when the area is fully metered,” said a resident of Pulwama.
“In our area there is no schedule for load-shedding and it is up to PDD employees to curtail the power and they exercise the curtailment option frequently,” said Sami Khan of Bandipora.
The situation is not different in north Kashmir’s Kupwara and Sopore areas. “Even the metered colonies are being subjected to long power cuts,” people complained. Sopore people alleged that the unscheduled power cuts are a norm. Mehraj-u-din of Kupwara said that the problem intensifies in the evening and the area is completely blacked out for several hours.
He said that every year PDD comes up with a same excuse of less generation and more demand. “Despite power tariff being raised so many times during past years, PDD has nothing to offer to its consumers except lame excuses,” he added.
“For past two weeks we are facing power curtailments which continue for several hours together. I should say the electricity vanishes for the entire day at times we do not see any power in evenings. In 24 hours we are provided with power for only four to five hours,” a delegation of residents from various areas of south Kashmir said.