SRINAGAR, Jan 1: Government’s inability to clear its liability towards Small Scale Industrial Units (SSIUs) has taken the number of defunct electric transformers to 340 in Kashmir.
An official at Power Development Department said the number of transformers awaiting repair kept on changing as the workshops received multiple complaints every day. “I have never seen such demand. We are receiving more transformers this year. The numbers are probably more than what it used to be two decades back when men and machinery were less”, he said.
At one of the workshops in South Kashmir’s Pulwama town, an official of the PDD lamented that they work round the clock to meet the demand of the people but the flow of transformers never stopped. “We, at our workshop here, fix around 8-10 transformers a week and get 5-7 fixed from the Central workshop, which means we fix 12-20 transformers a week. But we get more than 40-60 transformers in one week for repairs,” the official said, adding that the deficit is more than 30-40 transformers a week.
In order to cater to the demand, particularly during winter, the Power Development Department had roped in nearly 40 small-scale industrial units as an addendum to its workshops. However, a liability of more than Rs 19 crore towards these units has forced the unit owners to stop working, putting extra burden over the PDD run workshops.
Sources in the PDD told Excelsior that more than 350 transformers are lying defunct and the PDD run workshops do not have the capacity to cater to such huge demand. “In the two districts of Pulwama and Kulgam nearly 100- 150 localities are awaiting the repair of their transformers. These areas are under complete darkness,” sources said.
The SI unit holders said for last three years they have repeatedly asked the authorities for the release of pending liabilities but Government was unmoved. ” In the month of May this year we stopped the work but resumed after authorities assured that the pending bills will be cleared, ” a unit holder said.
Another unit holder said they have not been paid for last several years and the Government has a liability of nearly Rs 1.2 crores towards his unit. “We have stopped working from July and will not work until our money is not released”, he said.
Chief Engineer of the PDD, Shehnaz Goni, said that the issue has already been taken up with the Government and the liabilities of these unit holders would be cleared by next week. “We are already working on it. The audits have been completed. Within one week the liabilities will be cleared and the units will again start functioning,” she said.