Ground Report | New Delhi: Power supply disruptions in J&K; The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday called in the army to restore power for essential services in the Jammu division. The employees union Electricity Employees and Engineers Coordination Commission (PEECC) has announced a strike against the government’s decision to privatize grid stations.
Army called in to restore power supply in Jammu
Jammu Divisional Commissioner Raghav Langar had written a letter to the Defense Ministry demanding the army. “Essential services in the Jammu region have been severely affected due to the strike by the employees of the Power Department. We request the Indian Army to provide power stations and sources of water supply to the people here,” he wrote in the letter.
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“There have been rounds of talks at various levels with the Power Development Dept. (PDD) employees on indefinite strike. Power sector reforms are inevitable, as the Centre has directed us to ensure the same. Certain policy-related and service-related issues cannot be decided on the spot, it requires some time-frame and a joint working group,” Mr. Langar said.
Officials have said that the army has deployed the army at various power stations in the Jammu region. At the same time, the Lieutenant Governor’s administration failed to make any compromise with the protesting employees during the day. The strike has affected 50% of the population of the Union Territory.
Power supply disruptions in J&K
The situation was no different in the Kashmir division too, where power outages were reported from many parts, including the summer capital, Srinagar.
On December 4, the Jammu and Kashmir administration announced the merger of UT’s Power Transmission Corporation Limited (PTCL) and Power Distribution Corporation Limited (PTDL) with Power Grid Corporation of India, a “sale” of the protesting UT’s assets. see as. The two corporations came into existence after the bifurcation of the Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Department (JKPDD) in 2019 when the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into the union territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir. (Power supply disruptions in J&K)
The power supply disruptions are likely to continue as talks between the striking workers and the administration failed again on Sunday, Indian Express reported.
J&K Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari said such arbitrary decisions have always resulted in causing inconvenience to the local populace of J&K. “Various hospitals in J&K possess minimal electrical back-up support and in absence of the requisite power supplies, it may give rise to an unprecedented emergency situation,” he said.
National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah said the J&K administration may be able to claim the constitutional authority to privatise the assets of J&K but it completely lacks the political authority. “Decisions of this nature with far-reaching consequences should be left to an elected government,” Mr. Abdullah said.
The protesters pointed out that in 2019, after bifurcating the erstwhile state into the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, the J&K Power Development Department was split into Power Transmission Corporation Limited and Power Distribution Corporation Limited for both the Kashmir and Jammu divisions.
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“Over 20,000 electrical employees are currently on a strike due to which numerous areas across J&K are facing prolonged power blackouts and lingering of essential repair works. All of this is happening in the harsh cold winter season which is exponentially adding to the existing woes of the general public,” he observed.
In Srinagar, it is minus 6 degrees Celsius and it is freezing cold in many other parts of Kashmir. The Meteorological Department has predicted a further drop in the minimum temperature and snowfall this week.
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