DODA : Despite having huge potential of electricity generation in Chenab valley, unscheduled power cuts have thrown life out of gear for residents in Chenab valley comprising of three districts.
Residents of Chenab valley including Doda and Kishtwar complain that the Power Development Department has not put any fixed schedule for load shedding.
“Power supply is in consistent round the clock and having continuous shutdown from week to week in a month due to a minor fault”. Residents allege that their complaints to the top brass of the power department have not yielded any results despite whole Chenab valley and particularly Doda and Kishtwar are being hit by the crisis. ”
With the Power Development Department (PDD) implementing its electricity curtailment schedule in unmetered areas of the Chenab valley, darkness has increased in majority of the villages and towns day by day “Life amid misery, despite having huge power generation.
Potential, many Chenab valley areas are yet to be electrified in this modern era of technology and Digital India. Residents have to face power cuts for more than 16 to 20 hours, Natural water reservoirs in and around Kishtwar fell dry after construction of Dulhasti project “.
Last week complete shutdown continues for more than 60 hours that likely hit every sector in Chenab valley. Even in rural areas, unscheduled power cuts have become headache for locals and student’s community suffers during exam times.
Frequent and extended unscheduled power cuts have now become a routine in the Chenab valley due to failure of the state government to take drastic steps to stop power pilferage and act against the “power thieves”, which includes common man, government departments and influential people in the whole region.
Despite many repeated requests were made before higher authorities, about curtailment of electricity but till day no improvement came to be seen as both officers are hand in gloves with illegal consumers.
Residents also alleged the functioning of the PDD for its failure to maintain electricity supply even in rural areas where no particular schedule is being followed and electricity cuts are a regular feature, making people question the tall claims made by the PDP-BJP coalition government of streamlining the supply system in Chenab valley.
Beside these, several hydroelectric power projects on the Chenab River have been constructed and made functional in the erstwhile Doda district from last few decades. When it comes to providing better living conditions to nearly a million people of the Chenab valley, successive governments, irrespective of the party, have shown little interest toward this region.
The Jammu and Kashmir Government has not given preference to this region even in the power sector. People of the Chenab valley have to face scheduled power. Cuts for more than 16 to 20 hours on regular basis. Due to overloading, Power Development Department (PDD) officials go in for unscheduled power cuts for hours together as well.
Despite the fact, Source revealed that the Bag liar and Dulhasti hydroelectric power projects, situated in the Chenab valley, are generating 840 MW electricity and power projects having a capacity of more than 3,000 MW have been sanctioned in the area and a potential of 5,000 MW has already been identified by the state government. Adding that all three districts of the Chenab valley are merely getting 129.76 MW electricity per month,
Which is the lowest compared to other parts of the state. Doda district is getting just 40.17 MW per month, followed by 43.62 MW by Ramban district and 45.97 MW by Kishtwar district. Doda district is getting the least share of power in the Jammu region.
On the other hand, Jammu district is getting around 802.70 MW electricity every month, followed by Kathua with 299.57 MW, Samba with 122.57 MW, Rajouri with 98.44 MW, Udhampur with 82.68 MW, Reasi with 51.39 MW and Poonch with 47.72 MW. Source further added that the official data of the PDD was released during April last year.
PDD officials are of the opinion that the demand for electricity has increased in the Chenab valley, but the department does not have a proper system on ground as field staff employees are running illegal connections and collecting huge amount on name of corruption and commission.
Despite having a huge potential for electricity generation, many areas are yet to be electrified in the Chenab valley as no Central or State scheme has reached to the peoples living in far-off areas that have suffered huge losses due to the construction of hydroelectric power projects.
The entire stretch from Bag liar in Ramban district to Pul- Doda in Doda district has started sinking and the road network has been damaged. Geological experts feel that this has happened due to the stagnant water of the. Bag liar project reservoir which has entered loose soil.
After the construction of the Dulhasti project, all natural water reservoirs of Kishtwar town and adjoining areas dried up. The situation is so bad that people have to wait for days together to get one-hour supply of drinking water at their homes.
Not only power cuts, the poles and wires installed by PDD in Chenab valley and particularly in remote regions of Doda and Kishtwar are damaged as they are not repaired from several years.
It is a matter of concern that Power Development Department in Chenab valley had become only a name as no improvement came to be seen on ground.
As it was not enough that electricity cuts and flat rates was routine of PDD, despite collecting huge amount as monthly fare from consumers PDD failed in installation of iron poles.
Eyewitness and pictures available proves that how PDD is behaving with inhabitants of Chenab Valley as wooden poles without insulators and wires are attached with green trees. As many repeated requests were made before PDD officers and legislatures, reality differs to its fiction as they put blind eyes toward the causes of poor masses.
A middle class family is being charged by Rupees 325 monthly fare by PDD employees and political image family is charged nothing as Corruption and politics in PDD is on peak.
It is important to mention here that various repeated requests were made before concerned officers of PDD regarding various issues of electric cuts in Kishtwar,
Beside assuring for redressal of grievances concerned authorities forced consumers to pay monthly bills , said one Shafqat Sheikh of Bunjwah .Residents of chenab valley in general and Bunjwah, Bhalessa, Chatroo, Kishtwar, Drabshalla, Saroor, PremNagar, Bhaderwah , Chatroo ,
Thathri , Gundoh and adjoining areas had demanded personal intervention of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to personally intervene in this matter and take necessary steps in providing better electricity supply to whole Chenab valley i.e. is have such potential on peak and residents had also demanded stern action against erring officers who are hand in gloves with power thieves and creating black spot on Power Development Department .
State Secretary All India Reporter’s Association Jammu and Kashmir, State Media Director World Aid Organisation for Human Rights, Member Delhi Crime Press wa Bhrastachar Virodh Morcha, Incharge district Kishtwar International Human Rights and Crime Control Organisation.