KL News Network
Kashmir Small Scale Industrial Association (KSSIA) has contested the claims of Chief Minister that state government was pursuing any agenda for “equitable and balanced industrial growth” in all districts and regions of the state and has alleged that industrial units in Kashmir were grossly being discriminated against their counterparts in Jammu.
A meeting of KSSIA was convened at its office headquarters Baghi Ali Mardan Khan under the chairmanship of President Syed Fazal Illahi to deliberate upon continued power woes faced by industry in Kashmir particularly in industrial estate of Baghi Ali Mardan Khan. Rebutting the statement of chief minister in recent industrial advisory meeting, the members invited her attention to the disparities meted out to valley based industry in power distribution and allocation of funds for infrastructural needs. They said that the chief minister was duty bound to monitor the performance of all ministries including power and industry allocated by her to the BJP ministers.
While the power minister takes pleasure in supplying uninterrupted and quality power to the domestic, commercial and industrial consumers in desired districts of Jammu, he ignores the suffering of consumers of valley due to erratic power supply as a mute spectator, the members said. They also accused the minister of industries and commerce of his failure to take stock of the problems of valley based industry during his entire tenure.
The minister is not bothered to visit or enquire about the conditions of enterprises post 5-month long turmoil or recent heavy snowfall.
The members expressed their anguish over the erratic and low quality power supply to their industrial units in the valley which has resulted in drastic production losses and damage to the plant and machinery. They accused the power development department for adopting discriminatory yardsticks for distribution of power to industry in two regions of the state. While Jammu units in organized industrial estates are being provided uninterrupted power supply for 24 hours, their counterparts in Kashmir are subjected to scheduled and unscheduled curtailments for 6 to 8 hours, the members said, adding that the quality of power in Kashmir was of lowest voltage compared to that supplied in Jammu. The members informed that they were unable to run their plant and machinery on such a low voltage which often results in the damage of motors. They said that many of the units were forced to install servo stabilizers in their units which, however, raise their meter reading by several times. There are some lines of industrial activity like plastic based industry where the plant gets jammed with half processed material due to abrupt power shut downs, the members informed.
Speaking on the occasion, President KSSIA Syed Fazal Illahi stated that while the above phenomenon of power woes is generally being witnessed by all organized industrial estates in the valley, the industrial estate Baghi Ali Mardan was much more affected because of the poor power infrastructure and distribution management. He regretted that the receiving station set up on the land of industrial estate for dedicated power supply to the industrial units, was eventually made a common station supplying power to many other localities in the surrounding areas including unchecked and unmetered supplies to camps. Whenever fault occurs in any of these localities because of wind, snow or any other reason, the power supply to the whole estate gets shut down, he informed. He said that disruption in power supply is also caused because of defective and nonfunctional panels, shunt capacitors, switches, changeovers etc which have not been set right or replaced despite repeated requests by the association for years.
The members sought immediate intervention of the state chief minister and other concerned ministries in mitigating their power related problems before the units are forced to take extreme steps including discontinuing their operations and retrench their work force. They said that the estate would continue to suffer on account of power woes unless a dedicated and well equipped receiving station directly connected to 33 KVA transmission systems is restored or set up separately for it.