Majid Kapra

Power woes: Consumers even in metered areas experience 7-8 hour-long power cuts

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This shouldn’t happen, will look into the matter: Principal Secy PDD

Srinagar: Consumers in many of Srinagar city’s metered areas claimed on Monday that the Power Development Department (PDD) resorts to sporadic power outages for seven to eight hours a day, rendering the installation of much-hyped smart meters in the summer capital pointless.

The agency in question, consumers claimed, by resorting to the unscheduled power-cuts is violating Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha’s directions about adherence to the winter curtailment schedule.

“Authorities had during the installation of smart meters promised that consumers would have a 24-hour power supply. But the situation has worsened to the extent that customers struggle with frequent power outages ranging from seven to eight hours a day during the ongoing Chillai Kalan in Kashmir,” Talib Hussain, a retired teacher from Hyderpora area of Srinagar told ‘Kashmir Images’.

Consumers in areas with smart meters, he claimed, pay high electricity tariffs; however, they have to put up with long and undue power outages.

“When smart meters weren’t installed in our area, power supply was significantly better. However, since the administration implemented the smart meters plan as a novel solution to address power theft, the situation has only worsened,” he claimed.

Generally the consumers in areas with smart meters use electricity very judiciously, and there is also no scope for any kind of power theft. Notwithstanding all this, still the power supply in these areas is deteriorating with each passing day, consumers claim.

Consumers from scores of areas of Srinagar which have been brought under smart meters have voiced their concerns over the intermittent power cuts.

Talking to ‘Kashmir Images ‘, Principal Secretary of PDD, Rajesh Prasad, said while the overall power supply in Kashmir has improved, the intermittent power-cuts in metered areas may still be caused due to faults in feeders.

The main objective of installing smart meters, according to Prasad, is to provide round-the-clock power supply to consumers and the UT administration is committed to ensuring a better supply throughout the winter.

“The department does not resort to power outages, although feeder problems might be the cause of the problem. But this should not happen in areas with smart meters, at least. People who experience power outages can report their locations for prompt resolution of the issue, I will definitely look into the matter,” Prasad added.

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