Srinagar, Dec 4:
The government has asked the police department to provide assistance to Power Development Department to stop power thefts in Kashmir.
As per the government documents available with Kashmir News Service (KNS), the concerned district development commissioner and senior superintendent of police shall provide necessary magistracy and policing to the checking squads of Power Development Department. “The PDD shall inform the concerned DCs and SPs in advance so that magistracy and policing can be provided,” the directives read.
There have been severe power cuts for the last few weeks and the phenomenon grows with each passing day.
The increase in power curtailment both in metered and non-metered areas of the Valley has evoked strong public outrage.
“For the last few weeks, there have been prolong power cuts,” said Altaf Ahmad, a resident of Bemina, whose is a metered area.
“We witness frequent power cuts from the last few weeks. We are bound to get 24 hour electricity supply as per the rules but the PDD often resorts to power cuts of around eight-hours in a day,” Nazir Ahmad, a resident of Pampore.
Adding further woes to people of Kashmir, the Power Development Department has issued an electricity curtailment schedule ranging from 6 to 16 hours electricity cuts, varying from area to area.
Amid this, the PDD has sought the help of the police to stop power thefts.
A senior PDD official said there was already a provision in the State Electricity Act for strict action against a consumer who resorts to power theft. “But there is only lack of implementation of the Act in the state.
The power theft increases during winters even though fine had been imposed against such people in the past. So, it has been decided to file cases against those who often resort to power thefts,” the official said.
The official said the department had taken several measures to stop the misuse of electricity in the Valley. “We have formed various teams who are conducting inspections to stop power pilferage. All the departments including police are fully cooperating with the PDD to stop power theft. All those who resort to power pilferage will be heavily fined besides that FIRs will also be lodged where power theft grossly take place. We will seek the police assistance if there is some resistance from the public in creating hurdles in the works of inspection teams,” the official said.
Chief Engineer PDD Kashmir, Hashmat Qazi told KNS that if people use electricity judiciously and pay as per the consumption then there won’t be power cuts. “We are trying to adhere the curtailment,” he said.
He said that department has intensified the inspection drive across the valley to stop power thefts.
“Wherever police help is required will be taken to ensure consumers use electricity judiciously,” he added.