District Bandipore is one of the districts of the Valley where people have been running from pillar to post to seek some remedy to their chronic power problem. Frequent and unscheduled power cuts, snapping of power for days at end, non-responsive attitude of the authorities and total recklessness of the Power Development Department have multiplied the problems of the people so much so that they have lost all the hope in Government having any real concern for the people of the district.
Nine years ago a power grid was announced for district Bandipore with the site in Putshai village that falls in the district. The grid was supposed to provide power to 110 villages under Prime Minister’s special development package. Reports are that there are some infrastructural problems facing the Putshai grid station of 50 Mega Watts (MVA), 132/33 Kilo Watts (KV) capacity with estimated Rs 19.85 crores for the first component. The local villagers had suggested an alternative transmission route but the PDD rejected it. From the DC of Bandipore, we have learnt that there are some difficulties with the villagers who are not prepared to give their land for raising the pillars though some pillars have been raised. This has become the reason for the delay of the commissioning of the grid.
If this is the reason that has caused delay in bringing the grid station to completion then we can say it is an unfounded complaint and the villagers of these localities have to rethink what they are demanding and what they are prepared to do to relieve the people of the power woes. Land acquisition is one of the problems facing our economic development. Farmers are not willing to surrender their land though they are paid adequate compensation. There is the Land Acquisition Act and the land owners cannot say no to give the land for a recognized development plan. In any case, the authorities do not use force because the courts can hear the appeals of the land owners if they think justice has not been done to them. After all a solution has to be found and the DC has to use his influence to persuade the farmers that the schemes for which the land is needed all go in the benefit of the farmers and the people one and all. The PDD has to handle such matters tactfully and with the cooperation of district administration. We hope sooner than later the issue will be resolved and the people will find relief after nine long years of suffering and deprivation.