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Power Woes: People suffer as JKPDD clings to its 40-year old ‘outdated infrastructure’

Power Woes: People suffer as JKPDD clings to its 40-year old ‘outdated infrastructure’

In past 3-4 years, we have invested over Rs 5000 crores to upgrade Infra: PDD Pr Sec

Riyaz Bhat

Srinagar, Nov 28 (KNO): With the increasing demand of electricity in Jammu and Kashmir, officials have said that the Power Development Department (PDD) was continuing its ‘old and obsolete infrastructure’ that is posing a major hindrance in providing uninterrupted power supply to the citizens.

The official documents available with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) reads that the UT was dependent on hydel energy.

“The power demand in J&K is primarily met through hydel power, which, however, varies with seasonal variations, thereby causing power deficit mainly during winters when power demand surges high,” it reads.

About the continuance of old and obsolete infrastructure, the document reveals, “The replacement of existing old and out-dated elements of distribution network has never been given due consideration and many of which are therefore continuing in the system from more than 40 years after repeated repairs.”

“It was posing a major hindrance in providing uninterrupted power supply mainly due to frequent snapping of conductors and damage to the transformers,” it reads.

The official document further states that the frequent snapping of conductors was posing a serious threat to men and material.

With these issues, the experts according to the document have suggested that the present transmission system needs strengthening by creation of new transmission lines and grid stations which would require huge investment, not only to meet the growing power demand but also to evacuate power from the upcoming generation projects.

About the outdated infrastructure of PDD in Jammu and Kashmir, Principal Secretary PDD, H. Rahesh Prasad told KNO said that ‘there is no doubt that the infrastructure is outdated.’

He however said that, “In past 3-4 years, we have invested a huge amount of more than Rs 5000 crores to upgrade it.”

“We have upgraded the transmission capacity, grid stations and receiving stations,” Prasad said. He said that currently under the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS), the department was investing another Rs 5000 crores to address the problem like outdated electricity cables.

“We are upgrading the electricity wires to insulated cables and we are upgrading our transformers too,” the principal secretary said.

Prasad further said, “I won’t say that it will be sufficient to overcome the gaps. There will still remain some gaps but I want to inform all those concerned that it is a time consuming process and will get settled gradually.”—(KNO)

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