KPDCL seeks police assistance to stop power thefts in Kashmir

Says ‘our staff face resistance and being manhandled’

Srinagar: Authorities at Power Department have sought assistance from the police department to stop power theft in Kashmir.

There have been severe power cuts since the Durbar (highest seat of governance) shifted to Jammu.

An official of Kashmir Power Development Corporation Limited (KPDCL) said 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 schedule as approved by the government,” the official said.

Authorities at KPDCL have written a letter to district administrators seeking police assistance during the inspections to stop power thefts.

As per the letter, a copy of which accessed by news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS), reads, “This is to bring to your kind notice that our field staff has been manhandled at various places in the past while carrying out inspections and were forced to withdraw inspection halfway. As such, it is requested to kindly extend necessary magisterial and Police support to the inspection squads constituted at different levels for tackling any law and order problems and to achieve the desired outcomes without any hindrance.”

The official said the department has 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. Various departments including police have been told to give assistance 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,” the official said.

Government has issued a power curtailment schedule according to which there is a three-hour curtailment for metered feeders and four-hour non metered feeders.

The increase in power curtailment both in metered and non-metered areas of the Valley has evoked strong public outrage.   “Ours is a non-metered area and there are around eight hour power cuts in a day,” Mohammad Altaf, a resident of Mehjoor Nagar said.

Similar complaints are also pouring in from metered areas where there are abrupt power cuts around six to eight hours in a day. “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 Power Department often resorts to power cuts of around six-hours in a day,” Nazir Ahmad, a resident of Shalimar said.

People said when meters were installed in their areas, the department had promised round-the-clock supply. 

As per the official figures of the Power Department, the peak power demand during the winters is 2100 MWs as of 2019-2020 against the agreed load of 1520 MWs. (KINS)