PDD to preach ‘judicious power use’ to consumers via religious heads

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Srinagar, Dec 31: In the backdrop of power crisis that has hit Kashmir Valley badly, the Power Development Department (PDD) is mulling to rope in Imams (preachers) and Mosque heads to preach people “judicious use of electricity”.
As per the Chief Engineer PDD, Shahnaz Goni, the department would approach the preachers across the valley for the initiative.
“The power problem is mainly due to its excessive usage by the people. No problem will emerge if they use it judiciously. So, we will ask the mosque heads and preachers across the valley to ask people to use it as per their agreement,” she said.
Goni said that they have already invoked some of the imams in Srinagar city, which is in the middle of worst power crisis.
“In Srinagar, the Imams have asked the people to adhere to their agreements. Imams are best to consult, as they are respectable figures in our society,” she added.
The Chief Engineer said the department had taken several other measures as well to stop the “misuse” of electricity in the valley.
“We have formed various teams who are conducting inspections since December 1 to stop power pilferage. All the departments including police are fully cooperating with the PDD to stop power theft,” she said.
“All those who resort to power pilferage will be heavily fined. Besides, FIRs will also be filed in areas where gross power theft takes place. We will seek police assistance if there is some resistance from the public,” she said.
A PDD official said that several areas in the city have shown some improvement in the power situation since Imams have appealed people to use it as per agreement.
“In some areas, the electricity usage has got better, but at the same time some other areas use it more and thus affect the overall situation. The imams are constantly appealing people and it is gradually showing some impact on the ground,” he said.
The power curtailment has increased drastically in the valley since the administration shifted to Jammu on October 27.
The increase in power curtailment, both in metered and non-metered areas of the valley, has evoked criticism.
Presently the Power Development Department (PDD) is supplying 1,130 MW of electricity to the consumers in Kashmir Valley against the demand of above 1,700 MW, leading to power crisis.
It has led to a huge loss to the industrial sector, which is reporting a downfall of more than 20 per cent in the production.

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