Restore power supply to Doda, Kishtwar

Snow, snow everywhere but not a bulb lighting’ in respect of hundreds of thousands of people belonging to heavily snowed in Doda and Kishtwar districts can be visualised vis-à-vis the difficulties faced by them for consecutive last five days as no major headway, so far, has been made by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) in the restoration and repairs of damages to the only transmission line supplying power to these districts. We cannot deny leverages to and limitations, the technical and other non-skilled personnel might be facing, in restoration of the power on account of unfavourable weather conditions but a near complete shutdown of power for five days in a row, depict far from satisfactory measures employed in power restoration process. The transmission line , it is learnt, has suffered extensive damages at various points on the intervening night of February 6 and 7 due to heavy snowfall, causing extreme hardships to the inhabitants as these mountainous districts have plunged into complete darkness.
The biggest immediate obstacles as per past experience,point towards tall trees laden with the weight of snow falling on the transmission lines and damaging them, should have led the authorities pre-empt as far as possible , such incidents by either trimming the trees standing in close proximity to the transmission lines or have them felled, in addition to taking other long term measures . In other words, one should repair the roof when it does not rain and such pre-emptive decisions should be taken well in summer or at best in dry seasons. The current repairing work is primarily hampered on that count. On trying to know the latest status of restoration of power , ‘Excelsior’ got informed that the restoration of power on tower between Udhampur-Doda was slated to be completed by the evening of February 10 but NHPC has failed to fulfil its commitment and repairs of nearly seven damaged towers would take more time, say from two to three days.
We can imagine the enormous levels of inconvenience and hardships, the people of the affected districts are currently facing, as not only the heavy snow fall and its aftermaths have wrought havoc but on account of snapping of communication links of majority of areas with rest of the state even to the extent of landline telephone exchanges not functioning normally, have added to the woes of the people . Again, cellular services can be possible to be availed of only when recharging facility of batteries was available. We are afraid at the indifferent approach of the authorities by not taking the desired decisions in respect of taking over of Udhampur- Kishtwar transmission line by the Power Development Department as desired by the NHPC from time to time, nor work started on the alternate Batote -Thathri -Kishtwar transmission line whose fate is hanging in balance for past several years, have all messed up the situation.
There are pressing reasons justifying taking such steps and decisions which would result in containing the bottlenecks in taking over the transmission lines , taking up projects for alternate lines and the like so that the situation as at present could be the last one in the sense that a heavy snow fall must necessarily not mean a nightmarish experience of the people of these mountainous areas who, otherwise need preferred attention than those placed at comparative advantageous positions. In the meantime , we are optimistic of the restoration of snapped lines and disrupted power supply to the suffering people of these two districts.