Major power curtailment evokes massive protests in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Oct 23 (UNI) Power curtailment for hours together in the Kashmir valley evoked massive protests by consumers who alleged that after the inauguration of the Baglihar power project by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently, the power situation has worsened.

Meanwhile, a number of political, social and other organisations have strongly criticised the Power Development Department (PDD) Chief Engineer for calling consumers electricity thieves during a press conference here last evening.

People from almost all parts of the city and other areas of the valley alleged that for the past one week they are facing power failure for hours without any prior information.

Residents of the Natipora, Batmaloo and Rainawari alleged that power in their areas remained off for 20 hours daily for the past four days.

Hundreds of people took to the streets in different parts of the city protesting against the power cuts. Even residents of metered areas said frequent power failure has damaged costly electronic equipments.

However, officials said there is about 30 to 40 per cent deficit in the generation and import of power against consumption in the state.

They said the Centre has stopped excess power supply to the state, leading to present crisis.

Several organisation have demanded an apology from the Chief Engineer for his remarks, calling consumers thieves.

State secretary of the Communist Party of India (M) Mohammad Yousuf Targami has expressed deep concern over the distress curtailment in power supply in the valley.

In a statement today he said with the onset of winter the unscheduled power curtailment is causing great inconvenience to the consumers who have been forced to come on the streets.

There is need to have an anticipatory policy to overcome deficit in the state, especially in the valley during winter months, he said.

UNI BAS YSS AM SB KP1747

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