Srinagar, Nov 13: More than a week after a massive snowfall disrupted essential services in Kashmir, electricity outages continue to be major issue in both urban and rural areas in the valley even as the Power Development Department (PDD) is yet to devise any uniform curtailment schedule.
The situation continues in contrast to Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam directing the PDD last month to ensure the valley does not face any electricity issues
Central, South and North Kashmir areas including several localities of the summer capital are reeling under darkness with PDD resorting to unannounced power cuts in both metered and non-metered areas.
“For over a week now, we have witnessed electricity outages for more than six hours every day particularly during evening and night hours. The help line numbers provided by PDD are not functioning,” said Zubair Ahmed, a resident of Mehjoor Nagar area of Srinagar.
Similar complaints were reported from Natipora, Padshahi Bagh, Nowgam, Chanapora, and Baghi Mehtab areas of the city.
In Downtown, areas including Karfalli Mohalla, Fateh Kadal, Habba Kadal, interiors of Khanyar, Saida Kadal, Baba Demb, Khayam too reported power outages between three to six hours every day.
A similar situation continues to prevail in the townships of all four districts of south Kashmir thus making it obvious that the situation in the rural peripheries of these districts is even worse.
Almost on a daily basis, reports of people holding protests against the power vows come from different areas of the valley.
A complete shutdown was observed on Tuesday in Tral area of Pulwama district against the power outages in the area.
Hundreds of people took to streets and shouted slogans against the PDD. The protesters also staged massive protests at main market Tral and complained against unscheduled and long power cuts that they have been facing for last two weeks.
Similar protests were held in Chadoora, Beerwah, Rafiabad, Kadipora, a couple of villages in Shopian and Kulgam on Tuesday against the power woes.
“There will be no major improvement in prevailing electricity crisis across Kashmir Valley. Like past years, this time as well, we are short of supply while the consumption is much higher,” sources in PDD said.
The situation has compelled the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission issuing a notice to Chief Engineer PDD for resorting to unscheduled power cuts both in metered and non-metered areas and for irregular power supply.
The SHRC has sought a report from the Chief Engineer within a week’s time to explain why power cuts are effected even without a notice.
A complaint received by the commission said that as the winter season has begun and with the recent snowfall the PDD has started unscheduled and irregular power cuts in metered and non-metered areas in whole of Kashmir.
The complaint added that due to the unscheduled power cuts people, particularly students, were facing immense hardships in cold days and nights.
Chief Engineer PDD Kashmir, Hashmat Qazi told The Kashmir Monitor that the department was yet to come up with any uniformed curtail schedule
“Currently we do not have a uniformed schedule, however, we are working on devising it. We too are worried about the issues faced by people due to power outages,” he said.