Sameer Showkin LoneSrinagar:
Power Development Department (PDD) might have tightened noose around the common consumers for hooking and power thefts, but there seems to be no check in the government offices where misuse of electricity continues unabated.
Owing to the lack of modern power saving electric appliances, the forces manning the entrance gate of General Post Office (GPO) here have switched to traditional crude heaters, which is a clear violation of the recent government order.
Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Syed Abid Rasheed Shah had issued an order (DMS/Jud/Misc/1180-83/2017), invoking powers under section 144 of CrPc that bans sale / purchase / transportation of crude boilers, microme coils being used especially in winters in district Srinagar till further orders.
However, the security personnel sitting in two bunkers at the main gate of General Post Office continue to use crude heaters for heating purposes.
“We don’t have any other option. It is very cold here,” said one CRPF guard, while the others refused to speak.
“We use what we are provided,” he said.
They are using these crude/coil heaters in both the two cabins where people have to undergo security check before entering inside the premises of the post office.
“These crude/coil heaters consume huge electricity. People usually use it for cooking purposes. But we have largely been able to stop people from using it,” said an official in Power Development Department.
It will be interesting to see if PDD will take any action against this illegal use of electricity.
However, despite ban, these heaters are still seen in various government offices used for preparing food and tea.
During winters the power scenario in Kashmir turns from bad to worse. The demand for electricity increases than the transmission supply which inadvertently results in heavy load shedding. The officials say the peak demand for power in Kashmir valley is more than 1700 MW. But the existing transmission system has the capacity to import only 1250 MW, according to PDD chief Engineer Shahnaz Goni.
When it comes to people who can play an important role in solving this problem by constituting pressure groups, be it journalists, or the social activists, the issue only becomes a matter of discussion for them when electricity shortage becomes evident in the winter season.