by Faheem Mir
Rafiabad: Amid the raging Covid-19, the power supply in the Rafiabad area of Baramulla district is dismal causing inconvenience to locals of many villages.
At least, 30 villages of the upper belt of the area receive only one hour of electricity in 24 hours. Rafiabad receives electricity supply from the Watergam receiving station, the only facility providing power supply to almost two hundred villages.
The situation is even worse during the ongoing pandemic because people many dependent on electronic medical devices are suffering.
“We have to rent a generator to operate the nebulizer of my grandmother,” Mohtashim a local resident said.
Another local Mohammad Adnan said that due to frequent power cuts they are unable to use a muscle therapy machine for his grandfather as the equipment requires electricity.
Rameez Wani, a student said the poor supply of electricity is affecting their studies adversely.
“Our exams are going on but the hide and seek of electricity distracts us from our studies,” Wani said.
Locals opine that there is no accountability for the Kashmir Power Distribution Limited (KPDCL).
“There is no justification for them to raise bills on account of electricity that has not been provided by them,” the locals said.
The situation is no different in other parts of the area where the electricity is giving nightmares to the general public,
“KPDCL charges fee from Chanam, Hachipora, Sheikhpora, Chatoosa, Zeathan, Kangroosa, Pakhwara, Hanoora , Pazwalpora and Hamam and Markoot. They have taken us for granted,” locals added.
“People here face prolonged power cuts, which literally has pushed them to walls.” Ubaid Ahmad a local said.
Along with causing problems to patients and students, the traders are also bearing the brunt of the unscheduled power cuts.
“We are paying commercial tariff but unfortunately KPDCL is resorting to unscheduled power cuts. If the problem persists we will be forced to stop paying power dues,” a group of traders said.
Residents of the Kandi belt of the area echoed a similar problem.
“We have to reel in darkness for hours,” residents of the area said.
Junior Engineer receiving station Watergam, Parvaiz Ahmad denying all allegations stating the department is providing electricity according to schedule.
“We are working with the longest feeder, which nearly covers 40 kilometres of area. That becomes the problem for faults and line junks. All issues related to the power crisis will be resolved only after completion of the new receiving station,” Ahmad said.
“The under-construction station at Hachipora village will take half of Watergam receiving station’s load as it would have three feeders. It will definitely help the people to see more hours of electricity,” the Junior Engineer added.
Assistant Executive Engineer Projects Baramulla district Aftab Ahmad Mir didn’t respond to repeated phone calls from this reporter.