Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam on Saturday reviewed winter management measures including power scenario at a high-level meeting with the divisional administration Kashmir at the Winter Secretariat.
The spokesman said that Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan informed the Chief Secretary that the power scenario is being reviewed on day to day basis. He said the current peak demand is about 2200 MWs while as peak load served is around 1300 MWs.
Khan said the Power Development Department (PDD) has, in view of the demand-supply gap, announced a curtailment schedule in the Valley.
Chief Secretary said the Government would explore avenues to augment power supply to Kashmir during winters so that there is less curtailment in view of harsh weather conditions.
He directed PDD to publicize the curtailment schedule widely through media so that the people prepare for the same in advance. He said PDD should also come out with a comparative statement regarding demand and supply of power for the corresponding period this year and the previous year.
Chief Secretary also directed PDD to set up a dedicated help-line to address issues faced by people on account of electricity.
Chief Secretary was informed that 241 transformers have been damaged and steps are being taken to create buffer stock for immediate replacement of damaged transformers. It was revealed that three out of four portions of 132 KV line damaged due to November 3/4 snowfall have been restored while the fourth damaged portion will be restored by December 25.
On road connectivity, Chief Secretary was informed that all roads, earlier blocked due to recent snowfall have been cleared, except for the Mughal Road. Officials said 651 water supply schemes that were impacted by snowfall have been completely restored.
Chief Secretary also took stock of the availability of essential commodities including food-grains, LPG and K-Oil and called for ensuring buffer stocks to meet the demand.
Reviewing the issues faced by orchardists due to the recent snowfall, Chief Secretary was told that Deputy Commissioners have completed the assessment of damages and disbursement of cash compensation has been initiated. It was revealed that the orchards in south Kashmir have suffered extensive damage which requires additional funds.
The Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir said that as per the assessment made by DCs, an additional amount of Rs 150 crore would be needed to compensate the losses.
Responding to the demand raised by the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Chief Secretary made it clear that there is no dearth of funds and government will ensure that the affected farmers are compensated adequately. He, however, issued clear cut instructions to the DCs to ensure expeditious disbursement of compensation and update the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir on day-to-day basis.
Chief Secretary also directed Divisional Administration to make adequate arrangements for the upcoming Eid-e-Milad and Guru Nanak Dev’s Ji’s birthday celebrations for the convenience of the devotees.
On the occasion, Chief Secretary reiterated the commitment of the Governor’s administration in ensuring that people in Kashmir Division do not face any inconvenience on account of power supply and other basic services during the winter months, when the durbar is at Jammu.